A special court in Mumbai has sentenced a 32-year-old man to three years in prison for sexually assaulting a college student, another Marathi serial actress, while she was on board a local train in Dadar.
The court said these incidents showed that girls were not safe “even when surrounded by many people”.
Special Judge Priya Bankar found the man guilty on Wednesday under section 354 (assault or criminal violence against woman with intent to insult her modesty) of India’s Penal Code and relevant provisions of the POCSO Act. The detailed order was made available on Thursday.
Noting that the incident took place in a very busy area, the judge said in her order: “There is a very adverse impact of the incident on the victim girl, on her relatives and society. Such an incident causes alarm in people’s minds and shows that girls are not safe in society, even if they are surrounded by many people.” According to the prosecution, the incident took place in 2019 when the victim was 16 years old and studying in class XII.
The victim told the court that she used to act in Marathi serials and would go to the outskirts of Goregaon from Thane to shoot.
The incident happened when she boarded a train to Thane from Dadar.
The accused strongly disputed the victim’s oral evidence of sexual assault on several grounds, even accusing her of not presenting an ID card required to enter Film City in Goregaon.
However, the court said there was no evidence to disprove her oral testimony that she was an actress and went to Film City to shoot.
The court added that it was a reason for her to travel by train at the relevant time and that it was not directly related to the incident.
The accused also tried to contest the entire incident on the ground. She did not have to get into the general compartment if there were carriages intended for women.
The judge said there were separate carriages for women, but it did not restrict or ban their access to general carriages like any other passenger.
In addition, the victim was traveling with a male friend at the relevant time, and there was nothing abnormal about boarding in a common compartment, the court order said.
The court ruled that the prosecution had proved that the defendant had committed the crime of insulting her modesty and sexually assaulting her by “making physical contact with advances involving unwanted and explicit sexual advances”.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)
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