MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court bench at Aurangabad, earlier this week, held that sitting on the cot of a woman and trying to touch her feet at midnight would amount to outraging her modesty. The HC has further held that in fact touching any part of the body of a woman by a stranger, would amount to outraging modesty.
A bench of Justice Mukund Sewlikar was hearing an appeal filed by one Parmeshwar Dhage, 36, a resident of Jalna district, who challenged the decision of a lower court there, convicting him for outraging the modesty of his neighbour. The lower court had sentenced him to two years of rigorous imprisonment.
As per the prosecution case, in July 2014, Dhage went to the victim's house at evening time and asked her by when would her husband return. She told him that her husband has been to another village and won't return that night.
Subsequently, Dhage again went to the victim's house by 11 pm in the night, when she was sleeping. He opened her doors, which weren't bolted from inside, and sat on her cot and touched her feet.
In his defense, Dhage contended that he had no intention to outrage her modesty.
Taking note of the contentions, Justice Sewlikar said, "From the material on record, it is clear that Dhage's act was capable of shocking sense decency of any woman."
"He was sitting at the feet of the victim and had touched her feet and was sitting on her cot. This behaviour smacks of sexual intent," the judge said, adding, "Otherwise, there was no reason for him to be in the house of the victim at such an odd hour of the night."
The judge further noted that Dhage could not give any answer much less any satisfactory answer as to what he was doing at the victim's house in the dead of night.
"Moreover, touching any part of the body of a woman without her consent that too in the dead hour of the night by a stranger amounts to violation of modesty of a woman. He did not enter the house of the victim with any sublime motive," the bench held.
"This clearly indicates that he had gone there with sexual intent and violated the modesty of the informant. Therefore, lower court did not commit any error in holding that Dhage had molested the victim," the bench held.
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