A 67-year-old alleged godman has been sentenced to a year in jail by a Delhi court for molesting a woman on the pretext of curing her ailment. Additional sessions judge (ASJ) Suresh Chand Rajan gave convict Madan Lal one year of jail term, reducing it from two years on grounds of his old age and other factors.
"Considering the age of convict (Madan), his family background and medical history as well as the period of trial and incarnation, I reduce the sentence awarded by the trial court. Madan is ordered to undergo rigorous imprisonment for one year for the commission of offence punishable under section 354 (outraging the modesty of a woman) of the IPC," the court said.
The sessions court's order came on Madan's appeal against the magisterial court's June 2012 decision, which had given him two years' jail term and had imposed a fine of Rs3,000 on him for molesting the woman.
Madan was arrested by the police in June 2004 on the complaint of the woman, a resident of military officers' servant quarters in Delhi Cantonment, that in garb of curing her stomach ailment, Madan had come to her house and had molested her.
She said he had also threatened her with dire consequences if she informed the police or revealed the incident to anyone. The woman had told police that she had contacted Madan Lal for treatment on her neighbours' advice that he was a 'baba' (godman), who used to treat such ailments.
The counsel for Madan, however, had opposed the woman's contention saying she, in collusion with her neighbour, had falsely implicated his client due to a property dispute. The counsel had also taken the alibi that his client was not in Delhi at the time of the alleged incident.
Madan's counsel had sought his client's release on the period of jail term already undergone by him during the trial or on probation, as he has to look after his family. The court, however, rejected the plea for leniency and said, "In consideration of the allegations against Madan in the present case and the gravity of the offence, I am of the view that he is not entitled to be given the benefit of probation."