Mumbai: Shiv Sena leader accused of sexual harassment acquitted of charges

May 10, 2018, 07:03 IST | Shailesh Bhatia

More than four years after a party worker accused him of sexual harassment, Vinod Ghosalkar, former Shiv Sena MLA and corporator from Dahisar, was acquitted by a sessions court on Tuesday

Representational picture
Representational picture

More than four years after a party worker accused him of sexual harassment, Vinod Ghosalkar, former Shiv Sena MLA and corporator from Dahisar, was acquitted by a sessions court on Tuesday. The case dates back to January 2014, when Sena corporator Sheetal Mhatre alleged that Ghosalkar had not only insulted and humiliated her in public, but also outraged her modesty by instructing party workers to scribble her phone number on the walls of public toilets in Dahisar.

This led to her getting lewd calls from strangers, which combined with other forms of intimidation, caused her great mental agony and high blood pressure, requiring hospitalisation. Ghosalkar was charged under IPC Sections 509, 506 and 354(1)(111), which pertain to sexual harassment and criminal intimidation. The court order stated that the complainant had conveniently tried to improve version in her successive statements, and none of her statements were corroborated by witnesses, or backed by concrete proof.

"The last four years have been a harrowing experience that took a toll on my political and personal life. My opponents did not miss a single chance to remind me that I was accused of misbehaving with a lady party worker, which was humiliation of the worst kind for me and my family. Now, the truth has prevailed. I can move ahead without feeling shame or guilt," said Ghosalkar. While Mhatre was unavailable for comment, official Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut said that the party was happy that one of their senior members had been proved innocent.

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