A court here has sentenced a 30-year-old man to three years' rigorous imprisonment for molesting a teenage girl last year. Thane district judge R V Tamhanekar, in his order last Friday, convicted Nadeem Anwar Hussain Ansari, a mechanic from Bhiwandi town, under section 354 (molestation) of the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
The court also slapped a fine of Rs 7,000 on Ansari. The prosecution told the court that the accused molested the girl, who was 17 years old then, on May 26, 2018, when she was on the way to her aunt's house in Bhiwandi.
After the girl raised an alarm, some passers-by caught hold of the accused and handed him to police. The counsel of the accused urged the court to show leniency and award him minimum punishment, saying Ansari was the sole earning member of his family, which includes his wife, children and aged mother, and they would suffer if he is sent to jail.
The counsel also said the accused regularly attended the court's hearing and did not have any criminal antecedents. After hearing both the sides, the judge said the offence against the victim was proven on merit.
"The offence is against the society at large and currently, such crimes are increasing in society. If leniency is shown to the accused, it would send a wrong message to the society," he said. Considering submissions of both the parties, the judge sentenced the accused to three years' rigorous imprisonment, saying "it would meet the ends of justice".