Mumbai businessman convicted for molesting popular teen actor aboard 2017 flight
A 41-year-old Mumbai businessman Vikas Sachdev has been convicted for molesting and sexual assault of a young actor on a Delhi-Mumbai flight in December 2017. The actor, who was in her teens when the incident took place, announced her exit from Bollywood more than a year after the incident, citing religious reasons.
The special court for sexual offences against children has convicted Sachdev to three years jail.
“I am holding you guilty for section 354 (Molestation) of Indian Penal Code and Section 8 (sexual assault) of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO),” Special Judge AD Deo said in his verdict. He faces a minimum jail term of three years under POCSO.
The prosecution had examined seven witnesses including the ex-actor, a passenger and two cabin crew members.
The award-winning ex-actor had tearfully shared her ordeal in a video posted on Instagram in December 2017, accusing the passenger on the Air Vistara flight of rubbing his foot against her back and neck while she was half asleep.
In her post, she said a co-passenger sitting behind her in the business class had put up his feet on her armrest.
“So, I was on a flight travelling from Delhi to Mumbai today and right behind me one middle-aged man who made my two-hour journey miserable. I tried to record it on my phone to understand it better because the cabin lights were dimmed, I failed to get it...
“The lights were dimmed, so it was even worse. It continued for another five to ten minutes and then I was sure of it. He kept nudging my shoulder and continued to move his foot up and down my back and neck,” she had said in the video post.
The businessman and his wife had countered the complaint, insisting that Sachdev was returning from a funeral, was mentally disturbed and asleep when the incident took place. It was unintentional, his wife had said.