Mumbai: A railway court in the city has sentenced a man to one-year rigorous imprisonment for molesting a woman in 2013. The court observed that the incident took place while commuting in a cosmopolitan city where trains are the lifeline and people show confidence in them and women’s safety is of utmost concern.
On Aug 25, 2013, the woman and her husband were commuting to Dombivali and had taken a Khopoli Fast local from Kurla around 4pm. Testifying before the court, the woman said that the coach wasn’t very crowded and they were standing in the passage between the seats facing one another when a man standing behind her touched her inappropriately.
Feeling that he was pushing her intentionally, she tried to push him back and turned around when he flashed her. She informed her husband about his act and he caught hold of him. With the help of other passengers, he was handed over to the police at Dombivali. A complaint was lodged at Kurla railway police station as the incident took place when the train was between Kurla and Ghatkopar stations.
Magistrate VP Kedar said in the judgment, “The accused has committed a serious offence. It has not only affected the mind of the individual, but such acts have a wide and deep impact on society. The kind of act shows how the accused possesses a distorted mentality and is of a culprit mindset.” The court said the act is nothing but an attack on her personal right, individual liberty and dignity of her person.
The court also considered the recovery of a spray bottle meant for sexual excitement from the man when he was arrested. The court said that possession of it is not an issue but it opens his mind and what is going in it.
The Magistrate said in the judgment that in the social conditions prevailing in society, modesty of women has to be strongly guarded. The accused had requested for leniency under the Probation of Offenders Act as per which a first time offender, mostly young, is released on a bond of good behaviour. The court said it does not think the case is fit for extending the benefit of the Act as it will spread a wrong message in society.
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