Delhi HC quashes case of outraging modesty against man, asks him to plant 30 trees

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New Delhi, Jun 10 (PTI) The Delhi High Court has quashed a case against a 61-year-old man after he reached a settlement with the woman who had accused him of outraging her modesty, and asked him to plant 30 trees.

While dealing with a petition moved by the accused to quash the FIR under IPC section 354 (assault or criminal force to a woman with the intent to outrage her modesty) registered against him, Justice Anoop Kumar Mendiratta observed that since the matter has been amicably settled, no useful purpose would be served by keeping the case pending.

The continuation of the case would be nothing but an abuse of the process of the court, the judge said.

"Consequently, FIR under sections 354 IPC registered at police station Vasant Kunj, South, and proceedings emanating therefrom stand quashed," the court in an order passed last month.

"Instead of imposing the costs upon the petitioner, he is directed to plant 30 saplings of trees, which are up to three feet in height in the local part or in the area of P.S. Vasant Kunj, South after getting in touch with the competent authority...," it ordered.

The court said the upkeep of the saplings shall be undertaken by the authorities concerned and in case of non-compliance of the directions for planting of the trees, the petitioner shall pay costs of Rs 30,000 to the Delhi State Legal Services Authority.

In November 2016, the woman accused the petitioner of outraging her modesty.

The petitioner told the court that the FIR was lodged on account of some differences which have been amicably resolved.

The court observed that heinous and serious offences involving mental depravity or offences such as murder, rape and dacoity cannot be quashed despite a settlement but offences which have a predominant element of civil dispute or those involving minor incidents, where the complainant or the victim has been compensated, stand on a different footing.

After interacting with the parties, the court said both of them wanted to put an end to the proceedings and the settlement would promote harmony between them and permit them to move forward in life.

It also said the chances of conviction are also bleak given the amicable settlement. PTI ADS IJT