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Delhi court acquits AAP MLA Dinesh Mohaniya in molestation case of 2016

It also acquitted co-accused Satish and Subhash Shukla in the case

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Representative image
Representative image

Delhi court acquitted MLA Dinesh Mohaniya in a 2016 case of alleged molestation on Monday.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vishal Pahuja acquitted Mohaniya on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 20,000 and a surety of like amount.

The bail bond was taken to ensure his presence in case an appeal was filed in a higher court challenging the acquittal.

"In the instant case, there are material discrepancies and contradictions in the testimonies of star witnesses and none of the other independent public witnesses has supported the version of the complainant, leaving a big cloud of doubt. It is therefore held that the prosecution has not been able to successfully build the case against the accused persons beyond reasonable doubt. Accordingly, all the accused persons are entitled to be given the benefit of doubt," the court said in its order.

It also acquitted co-accused Satish and Subhash Shukla in the case.

Mohaniya, the Sangam Vihar MLA, was booked on June 23, 2016 for allegedly misbehaving with a group of women, who had approached him with a complaint regarding water crisis in their locality the previous night.

He was arrested under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354A (sexual harassment), 354B (assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe) and 354C (voyeurism) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The lawmaker was arrested on charges of molestation and sexual harassment amid high drama when he was addressing a press conference, triggering an angry reaction from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of declaring an "emergency" in Delhi.

Mohaniya, then the vice-chairman of the Delhi Jal Board, was virtually dragged from his seat by a police officer when he was talking to reporters at his office in south Delhi's Khanpur around 12.10 pm.

In their statements, the women had alleged that Mohaniya molested them during a tussle at June 22 midnight, when they had gone to complain to him about the water crisis in their area.

In their complaint, they said they had told the police earlier that the MLA and his men had verbally abused and threatened them.

First Published: Mon, March 16 2020. 19:44 IST