Three men were sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment by a district court Thane in connection with a 2016 molestation case. The trio was handed over the punishment recently by District and Special Judge Ashutosh N Karmarkar after they were found guilty of offences under the POCSO Act, 2012 and section 354A(1)(i) of IPC.
The accused–Mahesh Vishnu Masmare, 20, Naresh Batra, 28 and Gondya Madhya Bond, 21–were also fined a sum of Rs 500 each. The three had molested a teenage girl in Dadade Palkhi Masmarepada village in Vikramgad taluka on March 25, 2016 when she went to fetch water from a well, according to the prosecution.
When the victim (aged below 16) was returning home, the men forcefully pulled the pot she was carrying on her head and poured water on her. While one of the accused held her hand, the other touched her inappropriately and made advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures, the court was informed.
Another accused in the case, who was a minor has been referred to the juvenile justice court. Pronouncing the verdict after hearing both the sides, the court said, “it appears that the alleged incident is against minor girl. In order to check such type of offence in future, the accused are to be dealt with and therefore, I am not inclined to grant benefit of Probation of Offenders Act to them.”
Taking into consideration submissions from both the sides, the age of the accused and other factors, following order will meet the ends of justice, the court observed while awarding the sentence.