A special court sentenced man to three years in prison on Thursday for allegedly sexually harassing a 14-year-old girl and hitting her when she resisted four years ago. The accused, who is from the same neighbourhood in which the girl stays, allegedly harassed the girl twice in 2013.
According to deposition of the victim before the court, when she was returning from a Navaratri programme, the accused pulled at her dupatta. She told the court that she was scared and hence, did not tell anyone about the incident. That same year, once when she was returning home along with her younger sister after purchasing curd around 10.30pm, the accused pulled her hand. He also allegedly brushed his hand on her thigh. When the girl resisted saying that he should not harass her, the accused denied the allegation. The girl told him that she would beat him up with her footwear. Enraged, the accused then allegedly hit the girl on her face with his fist. The girl started bleeding from her lips and rushed home.
The girl narrated the incident to her mother who then approached the police. Along with the victim, the prosecution also examined her younger sister who was present with her at the time of the incident.
During cross-examination, the defence tried to prove that the girl fell on her own when she went to buy curd. As she lost the money given to her by her mother, the girl fabricated the incident and falsely named the accused.
The court found the accused guilty under sections 354 A (sexual harassment) and 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) of the IPC and relevant sections of the POCSO Act.