A woman understands the intentions of a man who touches and looks at her, the Bombay High Court said Tuesday while suspending the sentence and granting bail to a convict in the case of molestation of a former actor.
The single-judge bench of Justice Prithviraj K Chavan was hearing an appeal filed by a 41-year-old businessman
Vikas Sachdev, convicted for molesting the former actor on board a Delhi to Mumbai flight in December 2017.
“A woman may know less, but she understands more. It is a natural gift. A man will not understand touch and look, but a woman knows the intention behind these. It is only the victim who can talk about accused person’s intention,” Justice Chavan said.
On Tuesday, the high court admitted Sachdev’s appeal and suspended his sentence till the appeal is heard and decided.
The court also granted Sachdev bail but directed him to submit a fresh bail bond of Rs 25,000 with two sureties and to not leave Mumbai without prior permission from Dindoshi sessions court.
Sachdev had moved the high court last month after a special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) court, on January 15 this year, convicted and sentenced him to three-year imprisonment under Section 354 of the
Indian Penal Code (IPC), which provides punishment for assault or criminal force on woman with an intent to outrage her modesty.
The POCSO court granted him bail and suspended the sentence imposed upon him for a period of three months to allow him to approach the High Court the same day.
In his plea before the high court, Sachdev submitted that the trial court had erred in finding him guilty.He said the victim had not identified the accused before the trial court and said the case was fit to be quashed and the conviction and sentence against him should be set aside.
Sachdev’s lawyer Aniket Nikam told the high court Tuesday that his client has been wrongly convicted and even if his leg had touched the victim, it must have been a mistake and without any intention to harass her.
Justice Chavan, however, asked why Sachdev, who was travelling in business class that has a lot of space, had to keep his leg on the armrest of the seat ahead of him.
When advocate Nikam submitted that the minor girl did not even complain to the crew members and had walked out of the flight smiling, Justice Chavan observed, “There is no straitjacket formula on how a woman would behave o react in such a situation. This is not mathematics.”
He added that there will be hardly any woman who might not have experienced such touch or even a look while travelling by bus or train.
“That is why they are teaching ‘good touch’ and ‘bad touch’ in schools,” Justice Chavan said.
The bench, however, admitted Sachdev’s appeal and suspended his sentence till the appeal is heard and disposed of.
The high court will hear the appeal by Sachdev in due course.
After the incident took place, the victim, then 17 years old, had narrated her ordeal through a social media on landing.
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