Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Relief for Man Accused of Molesting Actor After High Court Suspends Sentence Pending Disposal of Appeal

The Bombay High Court, on Tuesday, suspended the sentence of a 41-year-old senior executive who was earlier convicted by a sessions court in Mumbai for allegedly molesting a minor actor inside a flight in December 2017. The convicted man, Vikas Sachdeva, had approached the High Court against the conviction.

The court admitted Sachdeva's appeal and suspended his sentence till the appeal is heard and decided. The court granted him bail on a personal bond of Rs 25000 with two solvent sureties. The court also said he cannot leave Mumbai without the permission of the Dindoshi Sessions court.

In January, he was sentenced to three years imprisonment under relevant section of the POCSO for sexual assault with a fine of Rs 25000 and to one year imprisonment under section 354 of the IPC (criminal force to woman with an intent to outrage her modesty). The trial court had granted him bail to allow an appeal.

The counsel of Sachdeva told the court that there is no independent evidence to support the case of the victim and that her deposition cannot be relied upon and it has many additions and omissions.

The court, while hearing the appeal, also observed that women have a natural gift of understanding the intention behind a man's touch. Justice Prithviraj Chavan stated, "The man will never admit that he did it intentionally. Only the victim can understand and talk about the intention behind his touch."

The incident had created a public outrage after the actor put out a video on her social media account alleging that the middle aged man who was seated behind her inside a Vistara flight had moved his foot up and down her back throughout the journey when she was half asleep.
03/03/20 Radhika Ramaswamy/News18
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