Bombay High Court: The Bombay High Court, while granting bail to an accused of molestation, observed that mere expression of love by holding a girl’s hand cannot amount to molestation. The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court said these things while granting bail to an accused of molesting a minor girl by holding her hand. The court said that there is no indication of ‘intent to sexually assault’ in the victim’s statement.
Justice Bharti Dangre on February 10 allowed the pre-arrest bail plea of the accused auto rickshaw driver. 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. Following the complaint, the auto rickshaw driver was booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for molestation.
The girl student used to go to college and tuition in the auto rickshaw of the accused
According to the complainant, his daughter used to go to college and tuition in the accused’s auto rickshaw for a few days. When his daughter stopped leaving the auto rickshaw, the accused started following the minor. The complaint states that on November 1, 2022, the accused held her hand and expressed his love for her.
The complainant told the police that the accused wanted to drop her home, but she did not force and fled from the spot. The court in its order said that it can be seen from the allegations made by the complainant side that prima facie, there is no case of sexual harassment.
The court said, “Assuming for a moment that he expressed his liking for her, since the statement of the victim girl does not indicate any intention of sexual assault. Prima facie the accused is entitled to protection from arrest. Court warned the accused that he will not do this again and if he does so, the bail given to him will be withdrawn.