Man acquitted of charge of harassing air hostess

Man acquitted of charge of harassing air hostess

A man, accused of misbehaving with an air hostess in a Delhi-bound flight of Thai Airways in 2004, has been acquitted by a court here due to lack of evidence against him.

The court acquitted Arunabha Goswami, a resident of Madhya Pradesh, for the offence under section 354 (outraging woman's modesty) of IPC saying police have not given any “plausible explanation” about not recording the statement of any other co-passenger to corroborate the allegation against him.

“I am of the considered opinion that in the absence of independent corroborative evidence, the evidence produced on record by prosecution is not beyond shadow of doubt and the accused is entitled to benefit of doubt. So, accused Arunabha Goswami is acquitted for offence punishable under section 354 IPC,” metropolitan magistrate Priya Mahindra said.

According to the prosecution, Goswami was apprehended on a complaint filed by the air hostess who had alleged that he had misbehaved with her on September 2, 2004 when she was serving drinks during the flight from Bangkok to Delhi.

The complainant had claimed that she had complained about the incident to one of her senior colleagues. After the plane landed at Delhi airport, the matter was reported to police.

During the trial, Goswami denied that he had misbehaved with the air hostess and claimed that he was being falsely implicated in the case. Goswami's counsel said the woman had made improvements in her testimony which discredit her completely.

The court, while acquitting Goswami, relied on statement of one of the co-passengers who said that the accused never misbehaved with the complainant and he was falsely implicated as he intended to sue Thai Airways for deficiency in their services.