A Delhi court recently convicted three men accused of outraging the modesty of a woman bouncer at a club in west Delhi, observing that her testimony was of sterling quality and the “shock and horror of the brazen manner in which she was molested and assaulted by the accused persons was heavily bearing on the mind but ultimately truth prevailed”.
The incident took place on July 15, 2016 at Hammer Club, West Gate Mall in west Delhi’s Rajouri Garden area.
The prosecution had alleged that the convicts — Gautam Gambhir, Mohit and Nitin Nayyar — had attacked a woman bouncer and two of her colleagues at the club with swords, sticks and iron pipes. This brawl was a result of a rivalry between two groups, the prosecution alleged.
The prosecution alleged that during the incident, the accused persons also outraged her modesty.
Principal and Sessions Judge Dharmesh Sharma, in his judgement delivered on October 21, had also pulled up the police probe in this matter but proceeded to convict the three men stating “mere defective or lackadaisical investigation by the Investigating Officer cannot be a sole ground to throw away the entire prosecution case”.
“The prime objective of the criminal justice delivery system is to accord justice to all the stakeholders — the accused, the complainant/victim, society as well as the prosecution,” the judgement read.
The court said the only “fault line” in the probe was that the investigating officer (IO) did not record the statement of the owner of the club and that he did not seize the CCTV footage of the place of incident.
“The version of the IO is that CCTV cameras were not in working condition does not inspire confidence since no noting or statement to that effect was recorded by him nor there is anything in the case diary to suggest that he made enquiries with regard to working of the CCTV cameras so as to retrieve or seize its footage,” the judgement read.
The defence counsel had argued that this was a “case in which none of the public witnesses identified the accused persons as the real offender and the IO conducted a defective investigation as he deliberately withheld the CCTV footage of the incident”.
The court said that the woman had during her cross examination “given a graphic description of the manner in which assault took place upon her and her colleagues”, and it was in her cross-examination by Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Kumar Srivastava that “brought out that she could identify the assailants by their names as well as appearances”.
“It is highly probable that the shock and horror of the brazen manner in which she was molested and assaulted by the accused persons was heavily bearing on the mind of PW-1 (victim) but ultimately truth prevailed and her testimony is of ‘sterling quality’,” the court said.
The accused were convicted under Sections 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and Section 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.
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