A Girgaum magistrate court refused leniency to a 52-year-old who used foul language with a woman doctor in 2017 and sentenced him to six months of simple imprisonment. It stated that unwarranted leniency to him would send a wrong signal to society and that he had used unparliamentary language to insult the dignity of a woman.
The incident had taken place on November 23, 2017, when the man, Rohington Umarigar, was at the Parsi General Hospital where his mother was undergoing treatment. He used abusive language with the woman doctor who was in charge of the ICU.
The Nepean Sea Road resident had sought leniency and requested that the court release him by imposing a minimum fine and on a bond of good behaviour. He told the court that he was the only breadwinner of his family. Umarigar’s advocate told the court that the incident occurred at the spur of the moment when his mother was ill. The court said the punishment under Sec 509 of the IPC (word, gesture, act intended to outrage modesty of a woman) was enhanced by the legislation in 2013 looking at the time and seriousness of offences committed against the modesty of women. The court noted that Umarigar had misbehaved a second time with the doctor, which means it was intentional.
“Whenever such type of offence is committed against women, it is against their right to sexual integrity, dignity. It is linked to their right to privacy…in the present matter also, the accused has used unparliamentary words to insult the dignity of woman. He is in his 50s and knows the consequences of his act,” Magistrate Nadeem A Patel said. The court further said that while enhancing the punishment, it was the intention of the legislature to penalize the offence of outraging a woman’s dignity, either physically or verbally. Therefore, in such cases, unwarranted leniency shown will send a wrong message to society. It also imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 on the man.
The man had claimed that he had made a complaint to the hospital management against the doctor for negligence and that this was a counter-complaint. The court refused to accept this defence. It said that even for the sake of argument if it were to be assumed that she had been negligent in her own duty, it did not give him the right to abuse a lady doctor. It relied on the testimony of the victim, as well as her three colleagues at the hospital who testified about the incident.
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