Jain monk sentenced to two years in prison for molesting 19-year-old woman from Mumbai
A few hours after the magistrate court’s verdict, Mahar Pranlal Desai secured bailmumbai Updated: Dec 13, 2017 10:20 IST
Jain monk Mahar Pranlal Desai alias Manohar Muni was on Tuesday sentenced to two years’ imprisonment and fined Rs 50,000 for molesting a woman, who was 19 at the time, in 2012.
This is perhaps the first conviction of a Jain monk. A few hours after the magistrate court’s verdict, Desai secured bail.
The woman was molested in a Jain temple at Sevalal Wani Road in Mulund (West).
Desai was arrested on April 6, 2012 under sections 354 (molestation), 323 (causing hurt) and 506 (2) (issuing threats) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Only section 354 could stand the court’s scrutiny.
Three days after the arrest, Desai was released on bail.
Speaking to HT, one of the lawyers representing Desai said, “We haven’t received a copy of the order yet. I need to have a look at the judge’s observation and decide future action. But, yes we are going to file an appeal, as it is our right.”
According to the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), the convict can appeal for suspension of sentence in the sessions court within 30 days of the verdict. The court ruled out the defence’s claim that the woman was unstable.
Usha Andewar, the lawyer representing the woman, said, “The judgment is a victory for the family, who stood against all odds and fought for the right of their daughter with a positive spirit, despite the pressure from the society and community.”
Andewar said that the family was forced by the Jain community for an out-of-court settlement.
The family of the woman welcomed the judgment.
“At least, the court has delivered justice to us,” said an uncle of the woman