The Bombay High Court on Wednesday granted anticipatory bail to a senior bank official accused of molesting a teenage girl,saying that he is a high-profile person and has been exposed to humiliation already.
Joginder Singh,a deputy general manager with the Oriental Bank of Commerce,was booked by the police for allegedly molesting a 16-year-old girl in the lift of his residential building in Vile Parle on February 12. He was charged under section 354 (assault or force on woman to outrage her modesty) and sections 7 and 8 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act,2012.
In such cases it is better to strike a balance, said Justice Sadhana Jadhav today. It could be sick mentality, she added. While granting him anticipatory bail on a bond of Rs 25,000 and a surety of the same amount,the court restrained Singh from staying in the jurisdiction of the Vile Parle (East) police station,and also asked him to report to the police station every Sunday.
The girls father had filed an intervention application opposing Singhs anticipatory bail plea. Addressing his lawyers,the judge said: Lets take everything in your favour. But why do you need (police) custody? We are not speaking of being absolved. He is already humiliated. He holds a high post. She added that there is more humiliation at the workplace in such cases.
The court also questioned the girls father for letting her file the complaint. Why do you want to expose your child when she is suffering? She will have to face trial… not fair, said Justice Jadhav. Asking if custodial interrogation can be a deterrent,she said: There are so many stringent laws and still there are such cases. Is it really a deterrent?
The victim,who resides in the same building as Singh,had alleged that he had touched her inappropriately. Her father said she is mentally challenged and suffers from learning disabilities.
Singh has maintained that he was falsely implicated. The girls father said Singh had tried to settle the case by tendering an apology in writing,signed before the officers of the Vile Parle (East) police station.