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A Delhi court has expressed concern over increasing cases of crime against women in the city while sending an auto driver to jail for 18 months for molesting and threatening a woman, saying it was a serious matter that females are not safe on roads even from auto drivers.

Metropolitan Magistrate Ekta Gauba awarded the jail term to 33-year-old Narender, saying he misbehaved with the woman when she was passing by on the road and he did not deserve the benefit to be released on probation.

“…Convict Narender had outraged modesty of the victim by tearing her clothes and biting her and he insulted modesty of the victim by speaking indecent words to her and wrongfully restrained her, voluntarily caused hurt to the victim and criminally intimidated the victim with a threat to kill her…

“And in view of the fact that offence against women are on increase in the city and it is well-known fact that it is a serious matter if the women are not safe on road while passing by even from the auto drivers as in this case, Narender is an auto driver and he had misbehaved with the victim when she was passing by on the road and in view of facts and circumstances, he does not deserve the benefit to be released on probation,” the court said.

The court directed Narender to pay a compensation of Rs 5,000 to the woman and also imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 on him.

A police complaint was lodged by the woman on December 5, 2008 that in the morning, Narender obstructed her way in Baljeet Nagar here, abused her and tried to strangulate her.

She told the police that the man had bitten her and also tore her clothes and threatened to kill her if she passed from the way in future. She was saved by passersby who called police and the driver was arrested.

During the trial, Narender denied the allegations levelled against him and claimed that the woman implicated him in a false case as he had refused to ply his vehicle.

He was held guilty by the court for offences punishable under sections 354 (molestation), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), 341 (wrongful restraint), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.

The court also referred to the Supreme Court’s latest judgement in which it has been held that “benefit of Probation of Offenders Act, 1958 cannot be extended to the accused considering the heinous crime i.E. Crime against women that accused had committed and social conditions prevailing in the society…

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