Cab driver gets a month in jail for ‘sexual misconduct’ towards lawyer from UK

In one of the fastest judgments, a Delhi court has sentenced a 40-year-old cab driver, who was arrested earlier this month for allegedly engaging in sexual misconduct before a 23-year-old woman from the United Kingdom, to one-month imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10,000.

The incident took place on September 2 when the complainant, a London-based lawyer, and her friend booked a cab on an app from Indira Gandhi International Airport and were being ferried to a five-star hotel in South Delhi. According to the woman’s complaint, the driver, identified as Makkhan Lal alias Ajay, allegedly started masturbating inside the car.

On September 5, the Delhi Police filed a chargesheet before a Delhi Court. DCP (Southwest) Manoj C said they filed a watertight chargesheet on September 5 at Patiala House Court. In their chargesheet, police mentioned the details of the incident, statements of the woman and her friend, call details and the CCTV footage.

In his order, Metropolitan Magistrate Tushar Gupta Friday said, “It is submitted by the counsel for Uber company that in criminal cases, his company should not be held liable for the conduct of the accused in his personal capacity. It is further submitted that there is no evidence on record which can establish the guilt on the part of the company. Therefore, the Uber company should be discharged in the present case.”

A senior police officer said, “The woman and her friend had caught the driver and objected. However, he misbehaved with them and threatened them to stay silent. She asked him to stop the car and made a PCR call and gave a verbal complaint. The accused was arrested and later released on bail. Police recorded the woman’s statement but she left within a few hours of registration of the case.”

The Metropolitan Magistrate said, “With regard to other accused, his statement to plead guilty has already been recorded separately. In view of the voluntary plea of guilt of the accused, the accused is convicted for an offence punishable under IPC section 294. It is submitted by the convict that the matter is pending against him and he has a family to look after. He prays for a lenient view… On the other hand, Ld Assistant Public Prosecutor (APP) for the state submits that strict view be taken against convict and his conduct should not be shown mercy.”

He further stated, “This court is of the opinion that interest of justice would suffice if the convict is sentenced to simple imprisonment for a period of one month and to pay a fine of Rs 10,000 to the state. He is sentenced accordingly. Fine paid before the court today and let the convict be taken into custody for compliance of sentence.”

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