A 62-year-old man was sentenced to three months in jail along with a fine of Rs 5,000 by a magistrate's court for stalking a 55-year-old school teacher for two years. While the punishment for first-time offenders for stalking under the Indian Penal Code 354D (stalking) is 3 years, the court noted his advanced age, the fact that he had no prior history of offences and his daughter's impending marriage as reasons for a lighter sentence.
The accused is a businessman from Sewri who began stalking the victim, a teacher who would attend school Sandhurst Road from 2015.
According to The Times of India, the victim said in her official statement to the court that she would commute via the harbour line to the school in 2015 when the accused would begin following her every day throughout the entire route, after she alighted at the station at 7.25 am.
He would stare at her and even stop if she did. Despite repeatedly being asked to stop his stalking the accused didn't relent. The woman later filed a police complaint fearing for her safety. She claimed that the stalking experience left her feeling disturbed and ashamed.
Following the 2012 Delhi gang-rape case, stalking was included as an offence through the Criminal Amendment Act, 2013 under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The accused claims that he used the same path to visit a store where brought items for his business were dismissed by the court. He was also not granted benefit under the Probation of Offenders Act in which he would have been able to get away without a sentence on the assurance of good behaviour. The court further refused to acquit him stating the woman had no grounds for falsely implicating him.
The court further ruled that her testimony was enough to nail him since he stared at her which amounted to attempting to establish contant, a key reason for proving the stalking charge.
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