A Mumbai court on Thursday, 20 October, convicted a 25-year-old businessman for calling a minor girl "item" and sexually harassing her.
Special judge SJ Ansari observed that the term "item" objectified women in a sexual manner and would attract the offence of outraging modesty of woman under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The court has sentenced the accused to 1.5 years in jail.
Key Highlights From the Court's Order
"The accused having addressed her by using the term “item” which is a term used generally by boys to address girls in a derogatory fashion as it objectifies them in a sexual manner. The same will clearly indicate his intention of outraging her modesty."
"Such offences need to be dealt with a heavy hand as a lesson needs to be meted out to such road side romeos, in order to protect the women from their uncalled for behaviour."
"The fact of the accused having intentionally caught hold of the the victim 'X's hair and having pulled it, as also of he calling her an “item”, in my opinion, will certainly go to prove the fact of he having outraged her modesty."
What Is the Case?
The man convicted in the case had been accused of teasing and stalking the 16-year-old complainant when she used to pass through the streets of Millat Nagar, as per the court's order.
In July 2015, when the minor was returning home from school, the accused who was sitting with his friends in the lane where she was walking came behind her, pulled her hair and said “kya item kidhar ja rahi ho?”
When the girl raised an objection to his behaviour, the accused had hurled abuses at her.
The girl, along with her father, had then filed a complaint about the incident at the Sakinaka Police Station. The police had then lodged an FIR under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code as well as the Protection of Children From of Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The accused has been sentenced to a simple imprisonment for one and half years, and a fine of Rs 500, in default of which he will suffer further simple imprisonment for 3 months.
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