On January 15, 2020, a special court in Dindoshi Sessions Court in Mumbai has awarded 3 years of rigorous imprisonment to a 41-year-old man who is a businessman for molesting a woman on board a domestic flight (Air Vistara) going from Delhi to Mumbai in December, 2017. The woman is a former Bollywood actor. The judgment to this effect was passed by the Special Judge AD Deo.
The case was heard under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 as the victim was 17 years old at the time of incident and man was convicted under Section 354of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Section 354 relates to an assault or criminal force on woman with an intent to outrage her modesty.
Counsel for the accused sought minimum punishment citing the reason that he was first time offender and he is sole breadwinner of his family, which was countered by counsel for the prosecution by demanding maximum punishment.
Following is the story of ordeal narrated by her on Instagram via a live video.
"So, I was in a flight travelling from Delhi to Mumbai today and right behind me one middle-aged man who made my two-hour journey miserable. I tried to record it on phone to understand it better because the cabin lights were dimmed, I failed to get it....... The lights were dimmed, so it was even worse. It continued for another five to ten minutes and then I was sure of it. He kept nudging my shoulder and continued to move his foot up and down my back and neck."
For the time being, the sentence is suspended and he is given bail, in case he wishes to file appeal in the High Court.
Author: Parth Thummar