Court Finds No Sexual intent In Man Holding Girl’s Hand, Grants Bail
The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has granted anticipatory bail to a man accused of molesting a minor girl by holding her hand, saying the victim’s statement indicated no “sexual intent”.
Justice Bharati Dangre allowed the pre-arrest bail plea of the accused, an autorickshaw driver, on February 10. The detailed order was made available on Monday.
The father of the 17-year-old girl had lodged a complaint against the accused at a police station in Yavatmal after which the autorickshaw driver was booked under relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code for molestation.
As per the complainant, his daughter had travelled in the autorickshaw of the accused for some time to go to college and tuition.
After she stopped going by his autorickshaw, the accused used to follow her, despite her strong protest over this.
On November 1, 2022, the accused held her hand and expressed her liking for her when she refused to sit pillion on his motorcycle, the complaint stated.
The accused wanted to drop her home, but she resisted the attempt and rushed away from the spot, the complainant told police.
“From the accusations that are levelled, it can be seen, prima facie, there is no case of any sexual harassment as it is not the case of the prosecution that the applicant held her hand with any sexual intent,” the court said in its order.
“Assuming for a moment he expressed his liking for her, since there is no sexual intent indicated from the statement of the victim girl, prima facie, the accused deserves protection from arrest,” the court said.
The court warned the accused that he shall not repeat the act and the protection conferred on him would be withdrawn if he did.
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