Bombay high court strikes down molestation case against venture capitalist
The accused had approached the HC, pleading the court to quash the criminal proceedings filed against him, primarily on grounds of limitation.Updated: Sep 15, 2019 03:40 IST
The Bombay high court (HC) on Monday struck down a case against a venture capitalist, who was accused of outraging the modesty of a woman in 2004. The case was filed last year, 14 years after the alleged incident.
The division bench of justice Ranjit More and justice NJ Jamadar struck down the criminal proceedings against the man, primarily on grounds that the offence was registered beyond the period of limitation, which is three years. The woman had alleged that in February 2004, when she was sitting at a coffee shop with the accused, he had put his hand on her thigh and kissed her without her consent.
On March 16, 2018, the Bandra police registered a case against the man.
The accused had approached the HC, pleading the court to quash the criminal proceedings filed against him, primarily on grounds of limitation.
The complainant’s lawyer submitted that the accused urged the court to not interfere with the proceedings on grounds that the police had filed a charge sheet against the investor. The woman’s counsel argued that sexual offences were excluded from the purview of limitation laid down by section 468 (bar to taking cognisance after lapse of the period of limitation) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
The HC rejected her contention, noting that section 468 lays down limitation of three years for lodging offences punishable with imprisonment for one to three years.
As both the offences punishable under sections 354 and 509 fall under this category, the magistrate could not have taken cognisance of the case after the period of limitation expired and struck down the prosecution’s plea.