Granting relief to a widow with two minor children, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday stayed a sessions court direction to the police to take action against her for lodging a false complaint. The police, acting on her complaint, had booked her driver on charges of outraging her modesty. The man was, however, granted anticipatory bail after the woman told the court that the matter was being settled out of court.
“I will stay the direction so that she does not have to worry about it,” said Justice Revati Mohite-Dere, adding that, “The direction of the sessions court to take action against the complainant has been stayed.” The judge observed that the woman was a widow, who had to look after her sons.
Ghatkopar resident Aarti Pandya, in her petition filed through her lawyer Sheikh Imran, told Justice Dere that she had bought an auto-rickshaw and hired Shabbir Qureshi to ride it.
As a result of a dispute between Pandya and Qureshi, the latter was asked to discontinue his services, the petition stated. On October 14, 2013, Qureshi assaulted Pandya and tore her clothes, it added. The Ghatkopar police lodged the FIR under several sections of the Indian Penal Code.
It was Pandya’s contention that the elderly in the locality had advised her not to pursue the matter further as Qureshi was ready to apologise.
“The petitioner has settled the matter as she does not want to carry the burden of the case that could affect the lives of her young children,” the petition said. Qureshi approached the sessions court, which granted him anticipatory bail against a personal bond of Rs 15,000. In addition, the sessions court directed the police to take appropriate action against the complainant for lodging a “false complaint against the accused”.