Published On: Mon, Apr 2nd, 2018

HC disposes of harassment plea against Thane civic chief

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today disposed of a petition which alleged that the Thane Municipal Corporation commissioner had allegedly sexually harassed a 15-year-old girl.

Justice R M Savant

A bench of Justices R M Savant and Sarang Kotwal refused to issue any directions or pass orders on the petition, after the victim retracted her allegations while her statement was being recorded by the police and the magistrate.

The bench was hearing a plea filed by an activist, Vikrant Karnik, seeking appropriate directions to the Thane police.

In his plea, Karnik had alleged that the minor girl was employed by the Thane Municipal Commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal as a domestic help.

The petitioner claimed that in December last year, he came across a video on social media in which the girl alleged that Jaiswal had subjected her to mistreatment and harassment.

Karnik said that he registered a police complaint and also wrote to the Thane police commissioner seeking a probe into the matter, no appropriate steps were taken.

The state government, meanwhile, submitted that soon after the alleged video surfaced, the girl and her family left Thane for Surat in Gujarat. Hence, her statement could not be recorded.

The state had also raised doubts on the veracity of the girl’s allegations.

The bench, however, had noted that the police had an obligation to implement the provisions of section 24 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, that deals with recording a minor victim’s statement irrespective of any apprehensions on the veracity of the allegations.

Today, the state’s counsel, Y P Yagnik, submitted transcripts of the victim’s testimony before the Thane Police and also before the magistrate under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), stating that the allegations made by her were false.

Thus, the bench noted that nothing survived in the plea anymore given the retraction of the allegations by the victim.

PTI

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