Taking a stern view of a man making obscene gestures at a woman, a Delhi court has sent an accused to jail observing that not punishing the "lawless indecent behaviour" would encourage such acts.
The court sentenced the man, a Delhi resident, to month-long rigorous imprisonment, but did not order any compensation after the 25-year-old victim chose to forgive 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.
The court also said that convict Yoginder does not deserve leniency as it would amount to overlooking gravity of offence, while holding him guilty under section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of IPC.
"The convict does not deserve too much leniency and giving him benefit of probation would be overlooking gravity of the offence. I am not in favour of releasing him on probation since the offence pertains to indecency against woman and even plea bargaining is forbidden in such cases," the judge said.
The court also observed that the purpose of sentencing after conviction is a "balancing act".
"On one hand, it should be sufficient to deter the accused not to repeat the offence in future and become a good member of society. On the other hand, punishment should not be too harsh which results in accused becoming a hardcore criminal," it said.
According to prosecution, on February 24, 2012, Yoginder made obscene gestures towards the girl when she was waiting for her college bus at a bus stand near Ashram in south Delhi.
The accused, a van driver who used to ferry kids in the same locality, stopped in front of her, passed lewd comments, showed her his private parts and opened the door of his car offering her a lift.
The girl then rushed back home and informed her parents about the incident after which a complaint was lodged.
The accused had denied the allegations and claimed he was falsely implicated in the case.
The court, however, rejected his claim saying, "There is nothing on the record to show that he has been falsely implicated and such indecent act has obviously insulted the modesty of the complainant, who was a young girl aged 21 years at the time of incident.