A court in Dindoshi has found Vikas Sachdeva, a 41-year-old consultant, guilty of molesting an ex-Bollywood actress in 2017 on a Delhi- Mumbai flight. She was a minor at the time of the incident.
Vikas was convicted under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 8 of the Special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act. Judge AD Dev has also imposed a fine of ₹25,000 and sentenced Vikas to 3 years of imprisonment.
Mumbai: Vikash Sachdeva, who has been convicted for molesting a Bollywood actress on-board a flight has been sent to 3 years of imprisonment by Special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Court. #Maharashtra https://t.co/BNYxzKLhFw
— ANI (@ANI) January 15, 2020
The story came to light in 2017 when the Bollywood actress took to Instagram to share her ordeal. The actress accused the consultant of molesting her on-board the flight while he sat behind her and placed his leg on the armrest.
However, 3 out of 7 witnesses testified in favour of Vikas Sachdeva, including Sachdeva’s wife who was travelling with him. She stated that Sachdeva was tired after attending a funeral in Delhi and was asleep throughout the flight. She stated that her husband’s leg might have accidentally touched the victim. Two crew members had also given similar statements.
As per an India Today report, Sachdeva’s lawyer Adnan Sheikh argued highlighting his client’s good nature, besides the fact that he was a first-time offender and the only earning member of his family. The lawyer also pointed out a 2018 Instagram post to suggest that the former actress may not have been in the right frame of mind. In the said post, the victim admitted to having anxiety, nervous breakdowns, and hallucinations.
The said actress had since retired from Bollywood after declaring on social media that her career was taking her away from Islam.
Vikas Sachdeva and his wife reportedly broke down when the former was proclaimed guilty. Sachdeva still has the option to appeal before a higher Court. This case had sparked a debate on social media whether existing laws meant for protection to victims are being misused.