Goa police files sexual harassment case against Sr Journalist

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 25 September 2015 12:17 IST

Goa police have registered a case of sexual harassment against Rupesh Samant, a senior journalist, based on a complaint filed by two women victims, at the Women’s Police Station in Panaji.

Kartik Kashyap, Superintendent of Police of Crime Branch of Goa police, told goanews.com that Samant would be taken into custody only if he doesn’t co-operate with the investigations.

“Question of arrest doesn’t arise unless investigations demand”, he said.

Samant is expected to be summoned shortly.

He works as a principal correspondent of Press Trust of India from Goa and also anchors news-related programmes on local cable TV channel.

goanews.com tried to establish contact with Samant to get his comments by phoning and sending sms. But he refused to comment.

According to Kashyap, the complaint includes sending lewd messages on mobile, making sexually coloured remarks and making physical advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures.

Police Inspector Sudiksha Naik has filed a First Information Report in this regard, under sections 354 and 354 A.

Both the sections are cognisable and non-bailable in nature, said SP Kashyap.

Section 354 of IPC reads as follows:

“Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty.—Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty, shall be punished with impris­onment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.”

After Nirbhaya rape case in New Delhi in 2012, the Parliament  in 2013 had amended the section, with four sub-sections, relating to sexual harassment, act with intent to disrobe a woman, voyeurism and stalking.

The police here have added section 354 A, of sexual harassment, against Samant. The section reads as follows:

“Sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment:

1. A man committing any of the following acts—

1. physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures; or

2. a demand or request for sexual favours; or

3. showing pornography against the will of a woman; or

4. making sexually coloured remarks, shall be guilty of the offence of sexual harassment.

Any man who commits the offence specified in clause (i) or clause (ii) or clause (iii) of sub-section (1) shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.”

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