A Delhi court today acquitted AAP MLA Dinesh Mohaniya in a 2016 case of alleged molestation. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vishal Pahuja acquitted Mohaniya on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 20,000 and a surety of like amount.
The bail bond was taken to ensure his presence in case an appeal was filed in a higher court challenging the acquittal. In its order, the court said,
In the instant case, there are material discrepancies and contradictions in the testimonies of star witnesses and none of the other independent public witnesses has supported the version of the complainant, leaving a big cloud of doubt.
It is therefore held that the prosecution has not been able to successfully build the case against the accused persons beyond reasonable doubt. Accordingly, all the accused persons are entitled to be given the benefit of doubt.
Co-accused Satish and Subhash Shukla too have been acquitted in the case.
Mohaniya, the Sangam Vihar MLA, was booked on June 23, 2016 for allegedly misbehaving with a group of women, who had approached him with a complaint regarding water crisis in their locality the previous night.
He was arrested under:
- Section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt)
- Section 506 (criminal intimidation)
- Section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman)
- Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty)
- Section 354A (sexual harassment)
- Section 354B (assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe)
- Section 354C (voyeurism) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The lawmaker was arrested on charges of molestation and sexual harassment amid high drama when he was addressing a press conference, triggering an angry reaction from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of declaring an “emergency” in Delhi.
Mohaniya, who was then the vice-chairman of the Delhi Jal Board, was virtually dragged from his seat by a police officer when he was talking to reporters at his office in south Delhi”s Khanpur around 12.10 pm.
In their statements, the women had alleged that Mohaniya molested them during a tussle at June 22 midnight, when they had gone to complain to him about the water crisis in their area. In their complaint, they said they had told the police earlier that the MLA and his men had verbally abused and threatened them.
After recently coming to power with yet another thumping victory in Delhi, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) appointed Mohaniya as the party’s in-charge of Uttarakhand. Senior party leader and Delhi Minister Gopal Rai had said that AAP would fight all local body elections across the country “wherever the party has a unit”. In an official statement Rai quoted,
The party has entrusted Mr. Mohaniya with a huge responsibility to strengthen the party’s organisation in Uttarakhand.
We are now on Telegram. Follow Us For More Updates