A Rohtak court Thursday rejected an appeal seeking action against Aarti and Pooja, the sisters from Haryana who were hailed as ‘Rohtak Bravehearts‘ by media, for lodging a false sexual harassment case against three boys of Aasan village in Rohtak district in a matter that had hogged headlines in 2014.
The appeal was filed by one Dr Subhash Vijayran. “The false complaint lodged by the Sonepat sisters has ruined the careers and prime years of Rohtak boys. I had sought legal action against the sisters so that it can be a deterrent for such bogus complainants and will pursue the matter till justice is delivered,” he asserted.
The court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Isha Khatri had earlier dismissed Dr Vijayran’s application regarding the issue, against which he filed an appeal before the Sessions Court. Now, after the Sessions court also turned down his plea, Dr Vijayran maintained that he would move the Punjab and Haryana High Court and challenge the order passed by the Rohtak court.
While hearing the case, ADSJ Ritu YK Bahl said that the 2014 case had become ‘quite old’. While dismissing the case, Bahl said that along with the 3 boys, the 2 girls, who had made false allegations against the boys, had also supposedly ‘suffered enough’ and it was time to put the incident behind them and move on.
While the ADSJ seems to think that the sisters who made false allegations have also ‘suffered enough’ along with the boys, the case still haunts the youths, especially one of them – Kuldeep.
“We don’t know when this case will get off our back. Our son has been proved innocent and discharged by two courts, still he is suffering because of the case which was proved false in the police investigation,” Kuldeep’s father Balbir, an ex-serviceman had said in September.
The 2014 ‘Rohtak Bravehearts’ case
The case dates back to November 2014, when Aarti and Pooja, beat up three young men in a crowded Haryana Roadways bus over alleged sexual harassment. The incident was caught on video and widely shared, resulting in the sisters being lauded and labelled ‘Rohtak Bravehearts’ by the mainstream media and especially Times Now since they had spearheaded this entire campaign.
The three boys Deepak, Kuldeep and Mohit, all college students from Haryana’s Asana village, were demonised as molesters and sexual predators by pliant mainstream media and in the remorseless court of social media.
As the ‘Rohtak Braveheart’ story gained traction and voices demanding justice for the two sisters rose, an SIT was constituted to probe the case. But soon enough, doubts began to cloud the story offered by the sisters as other passengers of the bus stepped up in support of the boys.
First decision in the case came in March 2017, where the judge categorically stated that no crime was made out against any of the accused as the girls had lied about eve-teasing and molestation. They had not disclosed in their statements that the altercation began over seats and their complaint did not attract charges of molestation under section 354A of India Penal Code (IPC).
The court also observed that the polygraph tests conducted on the girls and the boys resulted in absolutely no deceptive statements by the boys, while the answers given by the complainants Aarti and Pooja were found to be deceptive.
On 11 September 2018, the sessions court also upheld the judgement of the lower court and the three boys were pronounced not-guilty in the case. However, the lives of these boys, shunned by the media, remains a standstill since then.