A Delhi court has said that nobody has the right to touch a woman without her consent. It was hearing a sexual assault case of an Uttar Pradesh man harassing a minor girl.

Additional Sessions Judge Seema Maini said that unfortunately “lecherous and sexually-pervert” men continue to victimize women. The judge went on to order a punishment of five years of imprisonment to accused Chavi Ram who sexually exploited the nine-year-old girl.

“Such perverts get a sexual kick by assaulting women, oblivious to the rights of privacy of women and the female child,’ said the judge. She added that a woman’s body is her own, only she has the right over it and she allows who can touch it or not.

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The case that the court was hearing was one that happened in 2014 when in North Delhi’s Mukherjee Nagar Chavi Ram allegedly molested the young girl who was walking with her mother in a crowded market. The girl alerted her mother about it. Ram tried to run away from the scene but the passersby and the mother caught him.

“In a free, fast progressing, technically-strong country like India, it is an unfortunate scenario that the female citizens, be it an adult or a small child, continue to be consistently victimized in public places, especially crowded markets, buses and Metros”

In his defence, Chavi Ram told the court that the mother-duo had falsely implicated him in the case as the original molester had run away. But the court rejected his statement and noted that he clearly had a sexual intention and wanted to take advantage of the crowded market.

“In a free, fast progressing, technically-strong country like India, it is an unfortunate scenario that the female citizens, be it an adult or a small child, continue to be consistently victimized in public places, especially crowded markets, buses and Metros,” the court said.

The court also slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 on Chavi Ram, of which Rs. 5,000 will go to the girl. The court has instructed Delhi State Legal Service Authority to pay Rs 50,000 to the child.

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