Countless incidents of men passing lewd comments take place on a daily basis all over the country, and for most women, ignoring is generally the only option. However, the Delhi Court has taken a strict stand on this issue as it ruled a month long jail term for one such man on Monday. He was waved off of any compensation because the victim, who is 25 years old today, forgave him.
“In the present case, the accused exhibited his private parts to the complainant with the intention that same be seen by her and thereby he has insulted modesty of a woman…The indecent act of the accused shows that he has no fear of law during broad daylight. In my view, if such incidents, showing lawless indecent behaviour go unpunished, it would encourage people to emulate the said obscene act done by the convict herein,” Metropolitan Magistrate Ashok Kumar said, as reported by Indian Express.
Yoginder, the van driver and the convict in this case was found guilty under section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of IPC by the court, who believe that any moderation in this case will only show court’s relaxed attitude towards such acts against women.
The court further opined that the motive of punishing the convict is an act of ‘balancing’ the case. The magistrate believed that the punishment should be harsh enough to change the outlook of the convict and make him strive to be a better human being. But it should not be even so harsh that it inspires him to be a greater criminal.
The convict, a van driver who used to carry kids from around Ashram area in Delhi to a nearby school and then come drop them to their houses, passed filthy comments to a woman, who was 21 years old at the time of incident on February 24, 2012. He even stopped the van in front of her and showed his genitals to her and then opened the van door to give her lift when she was waiting for her bus at a bus stop. The van driver, whose name is Yoginder, did all this in broad daylight.
The woman returned to her house and her parents helped her file a complaint against the van driver. The perpetrator denied the allegations put on him by the girl saying that he was being dragged in the case on false implications.
As motivating a decision by the Delhi Court as it sounds, it took them over four years to come to a conclusion. The girl who filed the case might have started earning in these four years and the wait must be long and tiring for her. The convict might have long forgotten and molested other women in these four years who never could muster the courage to complain against him.
I also believe one-month jail term is far too less for a convict to even understand the gravity of his offense. I do agree with the magistrate that the punishment should not be bitter enough to make him the worst of criminals, but this does not even come across as a punishment, hard enough to change him into a better person.
And I just hope that the victim did not forgive him because she just wanted to finish the longest battle for justice and be done with it. Because by the length of this straight-forward case, anybody can be frustrated with it. And frankly, it was not even so difficult to for anyone to pass a judgment on a case related to sexual harassment against a van driver.
Feature Image Credit: daily mail