A sessions court here has upheld the order of a magisterial court to charge a man with sexual harassment and use of criminal force to outrage the modesty of a woman. The court passed the order on a criminal revision petition filed by a man against whom a mahila court in June 2022 had ordered farming of charges under sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) 354 A (sexual harassment) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
"This court does not find any legal infirmity, material illegality or manifest jurisdictional error in the impugned order and the criminal revision petition filed by the petitioner is dismissed," Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Sharma said in a recent order.
The court noted the complainant specifically alleged in her complaint and statement that the accused molested and threatened her. There is prima facie material on record that the petitioner used criminal force against the complainant with the intention to outrage her modesty and he also made physical contact with the complainant and criminally intimidated her, the judge added.
The court said at the time of framing charges, the magisterial court was only required to see whether a prima facie case was made against the accused. Various arguments like the acrimonious relationship between the petitioner and the complainant, delay in lodging of FIR, probability of falsity of allegations, and non-examination of independent witnesses were the matters to be decided at the final stage, the court said.
It was premature to give any finding on the authenticity, veracity or credibility of the prosecution's case at the present stage of the trial, the court said. According to the prosecution, the incident of sexual harassment occurred on April 11, 2014 at Tis Hazari metro station. Subsequently, the Subzi Mandi police station registered an FIR against the accused on the basis of the complainant's statement.
(With PTI inputs)