A 25-year-old man was sentenced to two years’ rigorous imprisonment by the City Civil and Sessions Court on Friday for flashing at two minor girls in Andheri East in 2012. The judge ruled that individuals making the lives of girls apprehensive, shameful and uncomfortable cannot be spared.
While announcing the punishment for convict Sunil Patwa, additional sessions judge Rekha N Pandhare observed, “ Nowadays the tendency of molesting, teasing, taunting girls and making indecent gestures to girls is on the rise. Girls are becoming objects of fun-making to such ill-minded elements. They make the lives of the girls miserable and uncomfortable due to which they are unable to move freely in the society.”
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Patwa was convicted for outraging the modesty of a woman under the Indian Penal Code and under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and handed two year prison sentences for both offences which will run concurrently, apart from paying a compensation of Rs 10,000 to the girls.
The incident occurred at 7 pm on August 12, 2013 when the complainant, who was 12 when the crime was committed, and her 11-year-old friend were standing outside St. John the Baptist Church in Andheri East.
Patwa approached the complainant and flashed his genitals at her and smiled, according to the prosecution.
The complaint, who felt “dirty and ashamed’, went to a playground nearby and told two other friends playing there about the incident.
Patwa followed them to the ground on the pretext on talking on his cell phone and continued to flash at the girls while smiling at the same time. When other people passed by, he covered himself with a bag.
The complainant’s friend eventually called her father, who reached the playground and raised an alarm. Patwa was caught by two men as he attempted to flee and the police were called to the spot.
In his defence, Patwa claimed that he gone to urinate at a public toilet near the church and had forgotten to zip his pants later. He denied all charges of flashing. Judge Pandhare concluded that the Patwa had deliberately kept his zip open.
The act showed his intention to outrage the modesty of girls, the judge observed, adding that the girls felt “bad and weird and scared”.