MUMBAI: A 64-year-old man was Thursday sentenced to three-years rigorous imprisonment by a POCSO court for molesting a teenage girl inside a moving taxi.
The accused, Vasudev Bagayatkar, was found guilty under relevant provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and sentenced to three-years rigorous jail term by Additional Sessions Judge S J Gharat, Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Sureeta Singh said.
The victim, then 17 and studying in Class XI, was rescued by a journalist, who later appeared as a key prosecution witness in the case, Singh said.
According to the prosecution, the incident took place in March 2015 when the girl was waiting to board a bus to reach her college at Prabhadevi in central Mumbai.
The accused, who was her neighbour, offered her a lift in the taxi he had hailed.
After refusing initially, she boarded the taxi on condition that they will share the fare.
Once inside the cab, Bagayatkar touched her inappropriately and forcefully kissed her, the victim had told the court.
A team of journalists passing by the area spotted the car and asked the driver to stop.
One of them approached the girl and enquired about the incident.
The girl narrated the ordeal after which the police was called, the prosecution said.
Later, a complaint in this regard was lodged at the Worli police station.
The journalist, who then worked with a news agency, aided the prosecution in proving its case against the accused, the SPP said.