A Delhi court sentenced the convict to 3-year imprisonment for sexual harassment (Representational)
A Delhi court has sentenced a man to three years in jail for sexually harassing and threatening to throw acid on a woman after she rejected his marriage proposal.
The convict also faced the ire of the court for using derogatory words against the woman with Additional Sessions Judge Savita Rao saying his "utterance" suggested that he was "shameless" and seemed to have not learnt any lesson.
The court sentenced the convict to 3-year imprisonment for the offences of sexual harassment, stalking and criminal intimidation under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and also slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on him.
"Convict has been warned of using such kind of language. Utterance of the convict itself is suggestive of the fact that instead of being remorseful, he is shameless to the extent of using demeaning words against the complainant even before the court and seems to have not learnt any lesson from his past mistakes. Taking a lenient view, in these circumstances, would only be conveying a wrong message to the society and to such kind of people that they are above the law and they can be let off even after demeaning the womanhood," the judge said.
While sending him behind the bars, the court relied on the testimony of the complainant and observed that inter personal abuse, whether sexual or non-sexual, "remains a major problem in our society."
"Sexual abuse against women is often a result of unequal power equations both real and perceived between men and women and is also strongly influenced by patriarchal notions of society, which seems to be the reason that the accused was not willing to take 'No' to his marriage proposal to the complainant," the court said.
According to the complaint, the man had been stalking and troubling the woman for quite some time, but on April 16, 2013 he caught hold of her hand at a public place in south Delhi and again threatened her to marry him.
When she refused, he abused her and threatened to throw acid on her, it said, adding that the woman immediately called the police and got him arrested.
The man, however, denied the allegations and claimed to have been in relationship with the woman for over five years and blamed money dispute between them for the complaint.
The court, while holding the man guilty, said any past relationship between the parties cannot justify the action of the accused in harassing a woman or threatening her to throw acid on her if she does not concede to his demands.
"The testimony of complainant in this light has passed the test of credibility and the same cannot be considered shaken merely due to the deposition of interested witnesses," it said.