Court upholds order acquitting two accused of outraging woman’s modesty

A sessions court here has upheld the order of a magisterial court acquitting two men accused of outraging the modesty of a woman, noting the “material contradictions” in her allegations.

The court observed that there was a dispute over property between the parties and, to settle a personal score, a complaint was made by the woman with the allegations that her modesty was outraged.

Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar was hearing the revision petition against the magisterial court’s order of discharge of the accused Pratap Singh and Ajay Rana in April 2022.

The court, in a recent judgment, noted that the complainant’s husband died in October 2016 following a heart attack and Singh was the woman’s brother-in-law.

It said three days before filing a complaint on July 27, 2017, the complainant served a legal notice on Singh for “maligning her reputation”, seeking Rs 48 lakh within 15 days as damages.

Noting the alleged incident occurred on July 20 and that the complainant did not inform the police on the day of the incident, the court said there was an “inordinate delay” in filing the complaint.

“Time and again, the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court in a number of judgments, have held that to settle the personal score between the parties, there is an alarming increase of cases under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 354 A (sexual harassment) only to use it against the persons and to make them agree to fulfil the demand of complainant,” the court said.

It said there were “material contradictions” in the complainant’s allegations to the police and in her statement made before the magistrate, adding that these cannot be ignored.

“It appears that the main dispute is of property between the parties and to settle the personal score, a complaint was made with the allegations that her modesty had been outraged by the accused persons ,” the court said.

Dismissing the revision petition, the court said there is no reason to interfere with the magisterial court’s order.

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