Hearing a case in which a 78-year-old woman has been charged with molesting another woman, the Bombay High Court on Monday asked the prosecution and the petitioner, which happens to be the accused here, to find out if a woman can be booked under such a charge. The court also directed them to check laws of other countries and see if there was any provision for punishment against women for the offence.
In her petition, Vimlabai Shah (78), a resident of Borivali (West), stated that on February 27, 2010, police booked her and her family members under section 354 (molestation) of the IPC on the complaint of one 55-year-old Prabha Jain. She alleged that the police, especially Inspector N M More of Borivali police station, was working in tandem with those who wanted to settle scores with her family.
According to Shah, her son-in-law Kirti Padechia had sent a notice to one Suryakant Sharma for illegal transfer of flat when he was the secretary of Shashi Tara Apartment.
In retaliation, the petition alleged, Sharma conspired against Shah family and got More to book them in a molestation case. According to the petition, the woman had registered the complaint with the police in order to pressure the Shah family to
withdraw an earlier complaint against her.
“Shah is aged about 78 years and is bedridden. How could have a senior citizen be accused of molestation?” the petition said.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for June.