A 28-year-old man by the name of Mohammed Mansuri was sentenced to four years in jail by a special court in Mumbai after he was found guilty of stalking and making sexual gestures at a minor girl.
As per reports, the incident took place on March 6, 2017. The victim, who was 12 years old at that time, had stepped out of her house to buy milk. Mansuri, the accused, had approached and winked at her. He tried to lure the underage girl with ₹100, and told her to accompany him (chal mera saath) in a sexually suggestive manner. The terrified victim then ran away to her mother to narrate the details of the incident.
The victim’s mother then reported the matter to her father and the duo began searching for the accused. They found Mohammed Mansuri eating ice cream at a nearby market. The girl identified the accused and her father slapped him. He was soon joined by other people, who then thrashed Mansuri for making lewd gestures towards the underage girl. The mob then took the accused to the police, following which a First Information Report (FIR) was lodged. The victim also recounted the man had followed her on multiple occasions and made similar gestures. Mohammed Mansuri was arrested in March of that year but released on bail after a few months in January 2018.
The accused fled but was re-arrested in May 2018. He has been languishing in jail ever since. The accused, who was a labourer by occupation, had pleaded not guilty to the charges. A total of 7 witnesses were cross-examined by the special public prosecutor, including the victim, her mother, the investigating officer, and a teacher to confirm the girl’s age. The Court found Mohammed Mansuri guilty under the Prevention of Child Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and sentenced him for the time he had already served behind bars. He has been directed to pay a fine of ₹500 and serve a simple imprisonment of 3 days.
Observations made by the Special Court while holding Mohammed Mansuri guilty
In its verdict, the Court had noted, “Upon evaluating the testimony of the star witnesses—the girl and prosecution witness 2 (her mother)—corroborated by other evidence, the prosecution has been able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt that the accused had stalked the victim on March 6, 2017, and even prior to that…There is no probability brought on record suggesting any previous enmity between the victim and the accused, so as to falsely implicate him. There is nothing in her testimony to suggest that she was tutored in any manner so as to falsely depose against the accused. There is no reason to discard or disbelieve her version.”
Justice Seema Jadhav observed, “From the evidence on record, it emerges that the accused had stalked the victim on two to three occasions. He winked at her, showed her a note of Rs 100 and uttered the words ‘chal mere saath’ (come with me), intended to insult her modesty. The sole testimony of the victim is sufficient to prove the guilt of the accused… The act of winking at her, uttering the words such as ‘chal mere saath’ and exhibiting the object i.e. note of Rs 100 with an intent to insult her modesty is punishable under Section 509 of the IPC and lastly the combined act is punishable under Section 12 of the POCSO.”