The manager of a south Delhi restaurant will have to face criminal proceedings for failing to prevent a customer from assaulting another customer inside his restaurant, and then allegedly “helping” the assaulter escape.
The alleged incident occurred in August 2015, when two women eating at Chilis restaurant, Saket, got into an altercation with another customer.
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The women had allegedly complained about the quality of the food being served, to which the other customer, who is still unidentified, made a comment. The women later filed an FIR alleging that the other customer had attempted to assault them and outrage their modesty, but restaurant manager Devashish Rawat had “started pushing them” and let the other customer to “escape”.
A trial court had framed charges under sections 352 (assault) and 212 (harbouring an offender) against the restaurant manager in March 2016. Rawat had challenged the order on grounds that the trial court had “suo motu” framed the charges even though the police chargesheet had only mentioned the offence under Section 509 (words or gestures intended to outrage modesty of a woman) against the “unidentified customer”.
The revision plea had also argued that since the police had not even found the alleged accused who had been involved in the altercation, the manager could not have been summoned.
The court of Additional Sessions Judge Ramesh Kumar has however noted that the framing of charges require “only prima facie view”.
“After going through the statement of the complainant U/s 164 Cr.PC as well as other material on record, I am of the view that there was sufficient material against the accused to frame the charge U/s 352/212 Part-II of IPC,” the court has held.
Citing Supreme Court judgments, the court said there was no need to go into a “roving inquiry” into the merits of the case at this stage.