Bombay High Court: While addressing a matter with regard to “outraging modesty of a woman”, M.G. Sewlikar, J., expressed that,
“…touching any part of the body of a woman without her consent that too in the dead hour of the night by a stranger amounts to a violation of modesty of a woman.”
On being aggrieved by the decision of Additional Sessions Judge present matter reached this Court.
The victim alleged that she and her grandmother in law were the only persons in their house as her husband had gone to the village. Applicant/accused lived in the house adjacent to the house of the victim. Later, the applicant had enquired with the victim when her husband would be returning.
At night around 11 p.m., the victim felt that someone was touching her feet and on waking up she found the accused/applicant sitting near her feet on her bed. Hence the victim shouted because of which her grandmother in law woke up and she raised shouts.
Therefore, the applicant ran away, and neighbours gather.
Next day morning victim’s husband returned and then she lodged a police report against the accused.
Analysis, Law and Decision
High Court cited the decision of Supreme Court in Rupan Deol Bajaj v. K.P.S Gill, (1995) 6 SCC 194, wherein the word ‘modesty’ was defined.
In Court’s opinion, the act of the applicant was capable of shocking the sense decency of any woman.
In the present matter, the applicant was sitting at the feet of the victim and had touched her feet, the said behaviour smacked of sexual intent, otherwise, there was no reason for the applicant to be in the house of the victim at such an odd hour of the night.
The Bench stated that the applicant did not enter the house of the victim with any sublime motive, he had ensured from the victim that her husband would not be present in the house that night.
The above-said incident clearly indicated that the applicant had gone there with sexual intent and violated the modesty of the informant.
Hence, the trial court did not commit any error in holding that the appellant molested the victim.
Therefore, the criminal application was dismissed. [Parmeshwar v. State of Maharashtra, 2021 SCC OnLine Bom 6144, decided on 21-12-2021]
Advocates before the Court:
Advocate for Applicant : Mr. Pratik Bhosle
Advocate/APP for Respondent-State: Mr. S.W. Munde
Advocate for R/2: Vishal A. Bagal