Mumbai court jails man for referring minor girl as 'item'
A local court in Mumbai sentenced a man to one-and-half years in jail for sexually harassing a minor in a seven-year-old case. The court observed that the convict catcalling the plaintiff by referring to her as "item" was derogatory and sexually objectifying. The court discarded the defendant's plea for a lighter punishment of probation with promise of good behavior.
Why does this story matter?
- Women in India are constantly at risk of sexual violence, which has caused the country to be dubbed as the most dangerous country in the world for women.
- The National Family Health Survey's (NFHS) report issued in May showed that 30% of women face physical or sexual violence.
- National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data shows a crime against women is recorded every three minutes.
Convict, his friends used to regularly tease the victim
The prosecution said that convict Abrar Noor Mohammad Khan, now aged 25, and his friends used to harass the victim regularly. Her parents filed a case in July 2015 when the convict Mohommed Abrar Khan pulled the hair of the girl while she was returning home from school and said, "Kya item, kidhar jaa rahi ho?" (Hey item, where are you going?)
Lesson needs to be meted out, says court
"Such offences need to be dealt with a heavy hand as a lesson needs to be meted out to such road side romeos, in order to protect the women from their uncalled for behaviour" - Special POCSO Court Mumbai says in the order.— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) October 25, 2022
Need to deal roadside romeos with a heavy hand: Court
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) court special judge SJ Ansari ruled that such roadside romeos deserved to be dealt with a heavy hand. The court ruled that the word 'item' is usually used by boys in an insulting manner to sexualize girls. The convict, a businessman from Sakinaka locality, was fined Rs. 500 and was acquitted of some other grave charges.
Didn't harass, girl's parents filed false case: Convict
Khan claimed that she was his friend and her parents falsely implicated him in the case as they didn't like him being friends with their daughter. He was sentenced under Section 354 (sexual harassment) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and similar sections of the POCSO Act. He has spent four months in custody, which will be subtracted from his jail term.