Bengaluru: Man sent to jail for harassing schoolgirl

Bengaluru, Feb 19 (IANS): The Karnataka High Court has sentenced a youth to a three-year imprisonment and also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 for sexually harassing a minor school girl.

The court has also quashed the judgment of a lower court which had acquitted the accused.

The division bench headed by Justice Srinivas Harishkumar passed the order recently after considering the criminal appeal petition of the prosecution. The incident had taken place on October 26, 2014 in the limits of Baluru police station in Chikkamagaluru district.

The accused was 18-year-old when he committed the crime and presently is 28. The court also refused to oblige the plea to give him benefit under the Probation of Offenders Act and release him. The bench further underlined that the POCSO Act was implemented on June 20, 2012. The benefit of the Probation of Offenders Act could not be extended to the accused in the crime cases committed under the Act, the court said.

The accused, a labourer at a coffee estate, had forcibly held the victim while she was walking on the road and dragged her into a public toilet. He had told her that he had fallen for her and had forcibly kissed and groped her. The victim had somehow managed to escape from the clutches of the accused and reach her house.

The father of the victim had lodged a case in this regard with the Baluru police station. The Pocso Special Court of Chikkamagaluru had acquitted the accused in the case claiming that the statements of father and mother were contradicting. The evidence of the victim was not trustworthy, the court had stated.

However, the police had made an appeal to the High Court. Public Prosecutor K.P. Yashoda argued that the crime was proven by the evidence provided by the victim, her parents and others. She also maintained that the statement made by the victim before the court on the sexual harassment on her could not be undermined.

The bench stated that "for the reason that no one came to the help of the victim, the incident of sexual harassment can’t be ruled out". The police had stated that there were no houses in the vicinity where the incident had occurred.






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Title: Bengaluru: Man sent to jail for harassing schoolgirl

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