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The Court of Metropolitan Magistrate Sonam Gupta in Delhi’s Tis Hazari Court Complex has acquitted Sarvjeet Singh, who was accused of harassing and abusing a woman at the traffic signal near Aggarwal Chowk, Tilak Nagar, New Delhi in August 2015.
The case had attracted tremendous public attention after the victim posted a picture of Sarvjeet on his bike on social media along with her alleged ordeal.
The victim had alleged that on August 28, 2015, at about 8.30 pm near Aggarwal Chowk, Tilak Nagar, Delhi, the accused, Sarvjeet came on a silver colour bike from the wrong side when the traffic signal was red. As his bike was about to hit the complainant, and as she saved herself, she said to the accused “bhaiya kya kar rahe ho, Red light hai (Bhaiya, what are you doing? The traffic light is red.)”.
In response, the accused started abusing the complainant in filthy language and passed lewd comments. After the complainant took pictures of the accused, the complainant further alleged that he criminally intimidated her. Subsequently, a case was lodged against Sarvjeet and investigation was completed. Consequently, Sarvjeet was put on trial for commission of offences under Sections 354, 32, 452, 34 of the Indian Penal Code.
In his statement recorded under Section 313 Code of Criminal Procedure, the accused, Sarvjeet submitted his version of the incident. He deposed that he was going to Tilak Nagar Market which was on the left side of the red light, the signal was green and the traffic was moving, He had to take the left turn for which there was no signal. The complainant came from the left side of the red light and stopped her scooty (two-wheeler) and then stopped his bike by putting her hand on the headlight of his bike, asking him what he was doing when the signal was red.
As per the accused’s statement, he responded by stating that he had to go towards the left side and she may go wherever she wants to. The complainant, however, refused to move ahead and kept standing in front. She then moved ahead and kept staring at him and later took out her mobile phone and started clicking his pictures.
After the accused objected, the complainant said, “ab jab police tere ghar aayegi aur teri bajegi tab pata chalega (You’ll know when the police comes to your house and takes you to task)”, he deposed.
It was further added that the accused even spoke to one of the boys who were with her and was told that the photographs would be deleted.
Apart from the accused himself, no other defence evidence was led.
Counsel for accused argued that testimony of the complainant could not be relied upon completely as the incident happened in the middle of the road where many people had gathered and witnessed the incident, however, no other person other than the complainant was cited as a witness. It was further argued that the case was filed just to gain publicity from social media by as on the day of the incident, instead of talking to police and helping the investigation, the complainant updated the photograph of the accused with a story on social media.
Sarvjeet Singh contended that the prosecution had failed to prove her allegations against the accused, hence, the benefit of doubt should be extended to the accused.
After hearing the parties, the Court noted that the entire prosecution case rested on the testimony of the complainant which had various contradictions and improvements.
The statement of the complainant in her complaint, the additional statement given to the police, the statement given under Section 164 CrPC as well as her deposition before the Court were inconsistent, the Court stated.
In view of the above, the Court concluded that her testimony was not trustworthy and cast serious doubt of the case of the prosecution.
“Indisputably, a conviction on the sole testimony of the prosecutrix can be sustained, however, in the present case, the complainant has made material improvements in her statement.”
“Moreover, the place of incident was a public road and expected to be crowded at the time of the incident i.e, at 8:15 PM and no public witnesses were examined in the present case. Thus, non-examination of eyewitnesses, who could have supported the case of the prosecution, casts serious doubt on the case of the prosecution of the present case, when the version of the complainant is itself doubtful.”
The Court thus opined that the benefit of doubt has to be extended to Sarvjeet Singh and the prosecution had failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Advocate Amish Aggarwala represented Sarvjeet Singh. Sarvjeet made this statement on his Facebook account.
Read the Judgement: