A Delhi court convicted AAP MLA Manoj Kumar for assaulting a woman who turned up at his office to complain about waterlogging in 2014. The prosecution alleged that on February 8, 2014, the woman and several others went to the Kondli MLA’s office with complaints of waterlogging in the area.
When the group aired their grievances, the MLA asked them not to disturb him and pushed the woman, it was alleged. It was also alleged that an associate of the MLA assaulted another woman, and a man was slapped in the face.
Police had booked the MLA under sections of assault and outraging the modesty of a woman.
The court, however, opined that “the intention and motive of the accused may be was to shove the complainant on some issue but not to insult or outrage her modesty”.
“Therefore, it cannot be said the prosecution is able to prove its charge under section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) IPC but the charge under section 352 (punishment for assault or criminal force otherwise than on grave provocation) IPC has been clearly made out,” said Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal.
When the prosecution argued for convicting the MLA under IPC section 354, the court observed that the prosecution’s claim — that the accused tried to outrage the modesty of the complainant in the presence of such a large number of persons — seemed “unnatural (and) there has to be clear and unimpeachable evidence before it can be accepted”.
It went on to say that the accused is a public representative and it was his duty to behave fairly and courteously to those who approach him with problems. It said the most important piece of evidence was the complainant’s testimony, which “has its own relevancy and efficacy”.
The court held that “there is clear evidence on record that Kumar had pushed the complainant, which amounts to an assault on the complainant”.