CHENNAI: THE orders of lower courts awarding one year jail sentence and imposing a fine of Rs 10,000 on a man for his unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures towards a housewife, has been upheld by the Madras High Court.
From the evidence of the victim, both the courts below had concurrently come to a correct conclusion that there was advances by the accused involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures. The words spoken to by the accused are request for sexual favours. Both the courts below had concurrently held that the accused had committed the offence under Section 354(A) (sexual harassment and punishment) IPC, which is well merited and well considered and does not warrant any interference by this court, Justice R M T Teekaa Raman said and confirmed the orders of the lower courts.
The judge was dismissing a criminal revision petition from Kannabiran of Washermanpet challenging the orders of the XV Metropolitan Magistrate in GT in August, 2014 and that of the VII Additional Sessions Judge in December, 2017.
The judge also rejected the petitioner’s contention that since the information was recorded and the FIR registered by a male officer, the same is bad in law.The judge pointed out that there is no delay in registering the case. In respect of alleged offences under Sections 354 and 354-A of IPC and other sections mentioned therein, by way of insertion, it is amended that such information shall be recorded by a woman police officer or any woman officer. In the instant case, there is no doubt that the FIR was registered by a male officer. That does not by itself vitiate the action of setting in motion the criminal law. In the instant case, the word ‘shall’ as noted in the amended portion has to be read as ‘may’. Since there is no delay in filing the FIR, if any woman officer is available, it is always open to the Station House Officer to register the FIR, the judge said.