A man who was accused of stalking and outraging the modesty of a woman in 2011 was cleared by a Delhi court last week. The man had been accused by the woman and her parents of texting the daughter several times and also harassing her via phone calls.
Subsequently, he was booked under IPC Section 354-D (stalking). However, the court has absolved the man after nine years since no prima facie case had been made out.
In the year 2011, the man was accused to have sent the woman numerous text messages. Along with the same, the complaint also recorded that after the woman had informed her parents regarding the matter, the man promised not to repeat it. However, the woman approached cops when the man did not stop the alleged harassment.
The state sought prosecution of the man under IPC section 354-D (stalking) and revision of his discharge under section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman).
The man, on the other hand, argued that he was in a relationship with the woman and the messages did not have any objectionable words that could outrage her modesty.
Challenging the order of a magisterial court that acquitted the alleged accused man, the State prosecutor argued that the court did not consider the statements of the woman and her parents. Supporting the same, the prosecutor also commented that the statements contained that the man was a ‘habitual stalker’, which the court did not take into account.
The trial court highlighted that the man was frequently texting the woman, and besides that, no other allegations were made against him. Hence, the court ordered,
Prima facie no offence is made out against him. Accordingly, he stands discharged in the present case.
The state on the other hand, provided a list of time, date and duration of phone calls, varying from 2–405 seconds, and filed a revision against the dismissal order, and presented it in the trial court. The man had been accused of calling the woman 46 times in 21 days. One of the calls extended upto 405 seconds.
Analysing the allegations, Additional Sessions Judge Naveen Gupta stated that it was important to note that neither the woman nor her parents mentioned the information about these phone calls in their complaint, based on which the FIR was lodged. The court said,
The phone calls lead to infer that the complainant and accused were in frequent communication. Further, the court cannot assume anything with respect to conversation done between them during the said calls.
The complaint was filed by the woman on March 12, 2011 and the court also pointed out that the police hadn’t explained why the woman waited for one entire month to lodge the complain, if the man had already called her 14 times on February 10, 2011.
The court observed that it found “no prima facie case” against the man under Section 354-D IPC, apart from agreeing with the trial court when it came to his discharge under IPC section 509.