Updated: September 5, 2021 9:14:56 pm
A SESSIONS court in a recent order gave the benefit of the Probation of Offenders Act to two men booked for assault ‘in order to protect their future from stigma’. The two accused along with one more person were earlier sentenced by a lower court to three months imprisonment for sexual harassment of a woman and assault of her male friend, who confronted them.
The sessions court partly upheld the lower court’s order and said that while the sentence of one of the men, who had sexually harassed the woman should continue, the other two were only involved in the assault and could be granted the benefit under the Probation of Offenders Act.
The Act has provisions for first-time offenders to avoid jail terms and give a chance to their rehabilitation in society. “…benefit of the Probation of Offenders Act can be extended to the accused if they were having no criminal past and in order to protect their future from the stigma and possible contamination in prison,” the court said.
It said that the two men in their early 20s were only held responsible for causing voluntary hurt under the Indian Penal Code.
According to the prosecution, in March 2014, the victim had gone to Worli to deliver a lunch box to her friend. When her friend came to take it, the three accused were passing by. One of them passed an obscene comment. When her friend confronted the man (all the accused were between 20-22 years then) the three abused and assaulted him. The accused had sought leniency stating that they did not have any criminal antecedents and they had a bright future ahead of them.
The court directed that the two, granted benefits under the Act, would have to furnish bonds for maintaining peace and be of good behaviour for one year. It also directed the three accused to pay a compensation of Rs 3,000.