The Bombay High Court has set aside a first information report (FIR) against five youths, accused of outraging the modesty of two girls, on the condition that they would do social work for two days and donate Rs 50,000 for legal aid service. The order was passed by a division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and AA Sayed on a petition filed by the accused earlier this week.
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“Considering that the petitioners are in the age group of 19-22 and the remorse shown by them, we are inclined to quash the FIR. Looking into the peculiar facts of the case, it cannot be said that the offence alleged is against the society at large,” the bench said while quashing the FIR. A case had been registered against the five youths under IPC sections 354 (outraging the modesty of woman), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 507 (criminal intimidation) and 149 (rioting).
The mother of the complainant girl filed an affidavit in the High Court submitting that the two sides had reached a compromise and wanted to settle the matter. She said she did not want her daughter to do the rounds of the police station and courts and therefore, was agreeable to the quashing of the FIR against the accused who had shown remorse.
The complainant, a 17-year-old girl, was accompanied by her friend when the alleged incident took place at Badlapur in neighbouring Thane district on September 25. The two girls knew one of the accused, the first petitioner, as he studied with them. He had reportedly raised an objection to the relationship between the complainant’s friend and another boy who had met with an accident.
The two girls had gone to the house of the boy who was under treatment. When the first petitioner got to know about it, he called up the complainant and asked her to come and meet him immediately. The alleged crime took place when the two girls went to meet the first petitioner and four of his friends.
Badlapur police registered the FIR, following which the accused moved the High Court. The judges said the FIR could be set aside if the accused agreed to do cleaning work. They also directed the youths to present themselves before the municipal ward officer on November 3 and do the cleaning work.
The next hearing, to confirm the compliance of the order, is scheduled for December 7.