Mumbai: A 41-year-old man was convicted and sentenced to serve jail time by a special court here on Wednesday for molesting a minor actor in a Delhi-Mumbai flight in December 2017.
Vikas Sachdeva was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment and fined Rs 25,000 under relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, and to one-year imprisonment under Section 354 (criminal force to woman with an intent to outrage her modesty) of the IPC.
Sachdeva and his wife broke down in court on hearing the verdict.
The court had been hearing arguments from both sides over the last few months and also examined witnesses who were present in the flight at the time of the incident.
The actor had put out a video after the incident on Instagram, alleging that the man, who was seated behind her in the Vistara aircraft, had moved his foot up and down her back throughout the journey when she was half asleep. Sachdeva had, however, said that he was returning home after attending a funeral and was tired and asleep during the journey, and that any contact was merely an accident.
Sachdeva also claimed that he had apologised to the actor for “accidentally and unintentionally” touching her before de-boarding and said the actor yelled at him minutes before the flight landed in Mumbai. Three witnesses, including a passenger and two cabin crew members, told the court that Sachdeva was asleep throughout the flight.
Although the actor had deposed during court proceedings, she had not completed the procedure of identification of the accused in court.
The incident led to huge public outcry after the actor posted about it on social media, following which Sachdeva was booked by Mumbai Police and granted bail by a court a month after the incident.
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