A special court in Mumbai on Wednesday awarded a 41-year-old businessman three years of imprisonment for molesting a former Bollywood actor, then a minor, onboard an Air Vistara flight from Delhi to Mumbai in December 2017.
However, the sentence was suspended for the man to approach the High Court. He has been granted bail.
Special judge A D Deo in the Dindoshi sessions court found Vikas Sachdev guilty under Section 354 (sexual harassment) of the Indian Penal Code along with relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
The prosecution had examined seven witnesses, including the actor, who had provided an account of the incident on social media.
The accused was arrested subsequently and was later released on bail.
Recently, the prosecution had moved a plea seeking to recall the actor as a witness, as she was not made to identify the accused during her deposition.
Despite the court’s permission, the prosecution failed to bring the victim before the court for re-examination.
The victim, in her social media post, had said a co-passenger sitting behind her put up his feet on her armrest.
“So, I was in a flight travelling from Delhi to Mumbai today and right behind me one middle-aged man who made my two-hour journey miserable. I tried to record it on phone to understand it better because the cabin lights were dimmed, I failed to get it…,” she said.
“The lights were dimmed, so it was even worse. It continued for another five to ten minutes and then I was sure of it. He kept nudging my shoulder and continued to move his foot up and down my back and neck,” she said in the video post, following the incident.
The accused, however, said the victim was possibly “hallucinating”.
The victim last year announced her “disassociation” from the field of acting.
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