Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Business man who touched actor on flight blames it on ‘lack of sleep’

Mumbai: Vikas Sachdeva (39), the Kandivali-based regional business head of an entertainment company, who was accused of allegedly molesting Dangal actress Zaira Wasim onboard a Mumbai-Delhi Vistara flight Saturday night, was remanded in police custody for two days by a sessions court on Monday.

Sachdeva’s lawyer, H.S. Anand, while rebutting the allegations against him, said that the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act does not apply as the complainant completed 17 years on October 23 and is into her 18th year.

He also argued that the Section 7 of the Act doesn't apply against his client as the parts of the complainant’s body that was allegedly touched — the neck and arm — do not find mention in it.   

Sachdeva, who stays with his wife Divya and son in Kandivali, has no previous criminal record, and the lawyer asked the court to consider that he is the father of a nine-year-old special child, and the family is dependent on him.

Mr Anand claimed that Sachdeva’s contact was inadvertent as he was in a deep slumber after attending a funeral in Delhi and had even apologised to Zaira. The actress told the police that she was on a Vistara flight on Saturday night from Delhi to Mumbai, when the passenger sitting behind her put up his feet on her armrest and tried to feel her up. According to Sachdeva’s wife, he was travelling from Delhi to Mumbai on Saturday, after attending his uncle’s funeral, and was in a disturbed state of mind.

Stating that the complaint against Sachdeva is an afterthought, Mr Anand said, “If the complainant was harassed during her two-hour flight, she could have given a complaint at the airport terminal itself. Instead, the complaint was registered at her hotel the next day, with significant discrepancies in the alleged incident and her statement.”
12/12/17 Priyanka Navalkar/Asian Age