July 12, 2021 10:12:50 am
While convicting a bus conductor in Mumbai for sexually harassing a minor girl, a special court observed that such incidents hamper the progress of a girl child as it creates fear in their minds.
The court had last week sentenced a 54-year-old Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) bus conductor to a year in jail for sexual harassment of a 13-year-old girl in 2018.
“In the present case, the victim was 13 years old at the time of the incident and she was regularly going to school by BEST bus. The accused was 54 years old…and he had uttered such words to the victim which caused fear in her mind and she was even refusing to go by bus. Such kind of incidents hamper the progress of a girl child as the same creates fear in their mind while carrying out their pursuits,” the special court said in its detailed order that was made available this week.
The victim, in her testimony, had told the court that when she was returning from school on July 24, 2018, the conductor had sat next to her and asked her if she knew anything about sex. The minor objected to his behaviour and got down at her stop. The minor’s mother said in her deposition that the victim was frightened by the incident and therefore had not spoken about it with her. However, a few days later, when she went to drop her to the bus, she refused to travel via public transport. A friend of the victim then revealed about the incident to her mother. Her parents took her to the bus depot where she identified the accused and a complaint was filed against him.
“Definitely such nature of utterances are bound to have an impact on a 13-year-old girl and the explanation of the prosecution that the victim was frightened appears to be just and proper. It can be seen that the victim never confided in her family about the incident and told about the same to her friend therefore the said fact reflects the fear in her mind. There is nothing on record to show that the delay was intentional,” the judgment read. The accused had challenged the FIR saying that it was filed after more than a week of the incident.
The 54-year-old man was found guilty under Section 12 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and 509 (outraging modesty) of the Indian Penal Code. He was also directed to pay a fine of Rs 20,000.
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