Mumbai: A special court has sentenced a 32-year-old man to a year of rigorous imprisonment for moving a Rs 100 note over a 16-year-old girl’s lips when she was at a local market with a neighbour. The accused also asked her why she was acting pricey. The court observed that his act was with a sexual intent.
The incident happened on July 13, 2017 around 8pm. The man had suddenly appeared from behind the girl and harassed her. The teen’s mother lodged a complaint with the police after he abused her when she went to question him.
Sexual harassment and POCSO case
The court held that moving the money on the girl’s lips and then uttering suggestive words had outraged her modesty, which is punishable under section 12 (sexual harassment) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).
During the trial, the girl, her neighbour and her mother had all testified. The teenager told the court that the man stalked her on way to college and had told her father that she ‘goes to college and engages in prostitution’ when he had confronted him over stalking.
The man had sought leniency and told the court that his mother suffers from cancer and the family is dependent on him. The court said while deciding the sentence that mitigating circumstances in his favour will have to be considered, but that the apex court, on a number of occasions, has said that punishment must fit the crime. The Supreme Court has also said that it’s the duty of the court to impose proper punishment depending on the degree of criminality and desirability of imposing such punishment.
The man has spent over a year as an undertrial in the matter, hence he will be entitled to release as the period spent will be deducted from the sentence.
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