A SPECIAL court recently sentenced a man to three years in jail for sexually harassing a minor girl on a local train. The accused, Omhari Singh, had contested the charges and claimed that co-passengers had objected to the girl travelling in the general coach, which led to an argument. The court, however, observed that even though she was travelling in the general coach and not the ladies coach, entry of women in the general coach was not restricted.
“The accused has tried to dispute the entire incident on the ground that due to a separate coach for women, there was no need for the victim to board in the general coach. No doubt there are separate coaches for women in the train, but definitely entry of women in the general coach is not restricted or prohibited and they can travel in the general coach like any other passenger.
“Besides this, it is a prosecution case that at the relevant time, the victim was travelling with her male friend. If they both had to travel together, the victim was required to travel in a general coach along with her male friend. So, looking at the same, nothing is abnormal to travel with male friend in a general coach,” special Judge Priya P Bankar said in her order passed on Wednesday.
“The incident has taken place in a very crowded area. There is a very adverse impact of the incident on the victim girl, on her family members and society…,” the court said, convicting the accused on charges under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).