Courtesy restrictions, police can't contact Kashmiri-actor who was allegedly molested
The curbs in Jammu and Kashmir, have not only increased the woes of the general public but have also had an effect on Mumbai police. Wondering how? The cops in the city are not able to get in touch with an actress, who was allegedly sexually harassed on a flight in December 2017. She is set to be recalled as a witness.
Context: Almost two years ago, actress was assaulted on flight
The actress (whom we are choosing not to identify since she was 17 years old when the alleged abuse happened), had taken to social media to reveal her ordeal. She had mentioned that a middle-aged man kept touching her on a flight to Mumbai from Delhi. Initially, she thought it happened accidentally, but later the actress became sure of the man's pervert intentions.
Incident sparked outrage, but accused claimed innocence
The incident happened on a Vistara aircraft, and the man was swiftly arrested. It sparked immense outrage too. In fact, Jayant Sinha, the then Minister of State for Civil Aviation, had said the man would be put on a no-flyer list if the allegations are true. However, the accused claimed innocence and said he had dozed off on the flight.
Prosecution said actress should be recalled for examination
To note, the accused was booked under IPC Section 354 and relevant sections of the POCSO Act. He was granted bail on December 20, 2017. On Saturday, the case came up for hearing at a Mumbai court, where the prosecution moved an application seeking recall of the actress for her examination-in-chief. The special court allowed this request of the prosecution.
As her phone couldn't be reached, police sent a letter
Further, the police was ordered to ensure the actress records her statement before the court or via video conferencing. However, the communication blackout has made it impossible for police personnel to reach her. "We did not receive any response from the actor when we contacted her on her cellphone. We have sent a letter to her address, communicating the court's directions," an inspector told IE.
Reportedly, defense lawyer also wanted to examine the actress
In its plea, the prosecution said that since the actress hasn't identified the accused, she must be recalled. This was objected by the lawyer of the accused, who claimed the prosecution had enough time for identification as the actress and her mother deposed in January. He said that if the prosecution's plea is allowed, he should also be permitted to examine the actress.
Nine witnesses, including actress' mother, have been examined till now
Till now, the court has examined nine witnesses, including the actress and her mother, who was also with her on the flight when the alleged abuse happened. Now, the court said it will record the statement of the accused next week.