A local court has convicted a 28-year-old man for outraging the modesty of a minor girl in 2010, but did not send him to jail and only imposed a fine. First Class Judicial Magistrate R T Ingle, in his order Sunday, said he was not in favour of sending the convict, Mandar Jagtap, to jail considering his age when the incident took place.
The judge, however, slapped a fine of Rs 5,000 on the convict and said the amount should be transferred to the account of the District Legal Aid Services. Jagtap had committed the crime when he was 21.
“At the time of the incident, the accused was 21 years of age. Usually, such mistakes happen in the said age. The trial has run into seven years which was a constant burden on the accused and a punishment in itself,” the judge said.
“If I send the convict in jail, he may become a hardened criminal. The objective of any punishment is to reclaim the offender. Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, in my opinion, payment of fine instead of imprisonment, will serve the purpose,” he observed.
Additional Public Prosecutor (APP) Rashmi Kshirsagar told the court the victim was studying in class 9 at the time of the incident on June 28, 2010, when she was returning home in Vartak Nagar from school at about 4.30 pm. Some persons followed the girl, then in her mid teens, and one of them made obscene gestures at her, Kshirsagar said.
According to the APP, the girl lodged a complaint with the local police station following which Jagtap was booked under IPC section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), and later arrested.