TAKING A stern view of a case where a man was booked for flashing a woman, a Delhi court observed that if such acts go unpunished, it would encourage others to follow suit.
Though the accused was a first-time offender, the court said releasing him would have sent “encouraging signals” to others.
Holding the accused, Yogender, guilty under Section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the IPC, the court sentenced him to rigorous imprisonment for a month.
“As such, the indecent act done by the accused shows that he has no fear of law during broad daylight. In my view, if such incidents showing lawless indecent behaviour go unpunished it would encourage people to emulate the said obscene act done by the convict herein,” said Metropolitan Magistrate Ashok Kumar.
However, the magistrate did not order any compensation as the woman chose to forgive the accused.
The court also said the accused had flashed the victim with the intention that she see it and had, therefore, insulted her modesty.
“The purpose of sentencing after conviction is a balancing act. On one hand, punishment should be sufficient to deter the accused not to repeat the offence in future and become a good member of society. On the other hand, the punishment should not be too harsh which results in accused becoming a hardcore criminal,” said the court.
It added, “I am not in favour of releasing him on probation since the offence pertains to indecency against a woman and even plea bargain is forbidden in such cases.”
According to the prosecution’s case, the incident took place on February 24, 2012, near Ashram in south Delhi. The accused pleaded not guilty and said he had a family of six to look after.
The court, however, observed, “There is nothing on record to show that he has been falsely implicated. Such an indecent act has obviously insulted the modesty of the complainant, who was a young woman of 21 at the time of the incident.”