Holding Hand Of Girl To Express Liking Without Any Sexual Intent Cannot Be Considered As An Sexual Harassment: Bombay High Court






Case Title: Dhanraj Babusingh Rathod vs State of Maharashtra

The single bench of Justice Bharti Dangre of Bombay High Court granted anticipatory bail to the rickshaw driver named Dhanraj Babusingh Rathod who his accused of holding hand of minor.

Justice noted that the accused did not have any sexual intent to sexually harass or outrage the modesty of the minor and thus, no prima facie case was made out.

First information report was lodged by the minor’s father alleging that the accused (Rickshaw Driver) attempted to sexually harass her daughter.

As per the complainant (father), the minor used to travel in the autorickshaw of the accused to reach her school and tuition and when she stopped travelling in his autorickshaw, the accused one day stopped her and held her hands and also insisted her to travel in his autorickshaw so he can drop her to her home.

The minor ran away from that place and described the  very same incident to her father which results the FIR was lodged by the minor’s father against the accused.

Justice in the order “From the accusation that are levelled, it can be seen that prima facie there is no case of any sexual harassment as it is not the case of the prosecution that the applicant held her hand with any sexual intent. Assuming for a moment that he has expressed his liking for her, since there is no sexual intent indicated from the statement of the victim girl. Prima-facie he deserves protection from arrest, as for no purpose his custody is needed”.

With the above stated observations, the bench granted anticipatory bail to the accused and decided to protect him.

The bench also clarified that “However, at the same time, he shall be warned that he shall not indulge in similar incident and if he does so, the protection conferred on him shall stand withdrawn”.

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