The Juhu police recently filed a charge sheet against Ramesh Rajput, the 35-year-old school bus attendant who allegedly molested a four-year-old nursery student on her school bus on January 15 this year. Rajput, the police said, has been charged under the stringent Protection of Children against Sexual Offences Act, 2012.
The 59-page charge sheet contains statements of other students who were present on the bus at the time of the incident, the girl’s parents and the school authorities among others.
“As per the allegations, Rajput has now been charge-sheeted under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 354 for outraging the modesty of a woman, and 509 for a word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman. He has also been charge-sheeted under relevant sections of Protection of Children against Sexual Offences Act, 2012,” said an official from Juhu police station, requesting anonymity.
The police had earlier booked Rajput under IPC section 376 for rape. However, an application to drop the section was made to a court immediately after and it has not been mentioned in the charge sheet, the official said.
“The accused has already been charge-sheeted under the stringent Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, which will ensure that he is not let off easily. Hence it was decided to drop the rape charge,” the official added.
The police said that the victim, in her statement, told the police that after the accused misbehaved with her, she had told the woman attendant present in the bus about it and that the woman ‘shouted’ at the accused.
However, the police were skeptical of the woman’s version, as there were several contradictions in her statements.
“The woman attendant has been made a witness in the case and her statement copy has been added to the charge sheet. We have checked with other children if they faced similar advances from Rajput, but no such thing has come to the fore,” the official added.
A complaint into the case was registered after the girl child told her parents about Rajput inappropriately touching her. The girl’s parents then approached the school authorities, and together, they registered a complaint against Rajput.