Court Upholds Acquittal of Former Jamia Registrar of Sexual Harassment Charge

A Delhi Court has upheld the order of a magisterial court to acquit a former registrar of Jamia Hamdard University of the charges of sexual harassment, criminal intimidation and assault or criminal force to a woman with intent to outrage her modesty.

The magisterial court had acquitted the accused, saying the prosecution’s case had fallen flat on its face as the complainant made “major material improvements with every successive statement” and there was an “utter lack of cogent corroborative evidence”.

The woman had filed an appeal in the superior sessions court against the previous order in December 2021.

“In the present case, the counsel for the appellant has not been able to show any irregularity. Consequently, the appeal is dismissed and the order of acquittal is maintained,” Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Kumar Singh said in the recent order.

The judge said that in an appeal against acquittal, it was well settled that though the appellate court could re-appreciate the evidence, it should normally not disturb the magisterial court’s view unless glaring irregularity was shown either for factual appreciation of the case or for the applicability of the law.

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The judge said that the magisterial court had considered every aspect and passed a very thorough judgment, giving detailed reasons.

“I am of the view that there have been gross and deliberate improvements in the version of the complainant which she made gradually only with a view to somehow settle some score with the accused who was Registrar under whom the complainant was working,” the judge said.

He further said that the magisterial court was justified in acquitting the accused as the testimony of the complainant was not reliable and there was no independent support for her statements.

The Ambedkar Nagar police station had registered an FIR against the accused under the relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code.

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