On Thursday, a court in Ganderbal sentenced a man to five years in jail and ordered him to pay Rs 1 lakh in compensation to the victim for trying to affront the modesty of a juvenile girl in 2015.
In a case involving violations of Sections 342 (wrongful confinement), 354 (intent to outrage modesty), and 354-A (demand of sexual favours) of the Ranbir Penal Code, Ghulam Nabi Bhat of Devipora Koragh, Ganderbal, was found guilty and sentenced by Chief Judicial Magistrate Fayaz Ahmad Qureshi’s court.
The judge said, “This court deems it appropriate to sentence the accused to simple imprisonment of one year for the commission of the offence under Section 342 RPC, five years of simple imprisonment and fine of Rs 1 lakh for the commission of the offence under Section 354 RPC, and three years of simple imprisonment and fine of Rs 10,000 for the offence under Section 354-A.”
As such, it handed down a reprimanding sentence, determining that all punishments would run concurrently.
The court ruled that the defendant shall pay the victim Rs 1 lakh in compensation out of the total penalties of Rs 1,10,000.
“In default of payment of fine, the convict shall undergo further simple imprisonment of 3 months,” the court said.
The current criminal was ordered to be apprehended and sent to District Jail Dignibal.
In addition to the compensation granted in the judgement, the victim should get the Victim Compensation Scheme compensation, hence the court has sent the matter to the District Legal Services Authority Ganderbal.
Although no retroactive effect may be given to criminal law for trial of the cases or for punishment, the court ruled, “the scheme envisaged under Section 357A CrPC, 1973 is a beneficial scheme and so, its benefits can be extended to victims of the offences.”
The prosecution said that on July 21, 2015, the victim’s father filed a written complaint at the Kheer Bhawani police station in Ganderbal, naming Bhat as the tailor his daughter had visited.
According to the complaint, Bhat tried to molest the 11-year-old girl and affront her modesty; when the victim tried to leave, Bhat locked the door, prompting her to make a fuss and eventually escape.
A chargesheet detailing the investigation’s findings and detailing the crimes that investigators believe Bhat committed under Sections 354, 354-A, and 342 of the RPC was submitted to the CJM Court.
Five of the six witnesses called by the prosecution appeared in court throughout the trial.