Sept 16, Colombo: A Delhi Court on Wednesday convicted of Lalit D’Silva Former Regional Manager (India) of SriLankan Airlines on charge of outraging the modesty of a female employee, Press Trust of India reported.
Metropolitan Magistrate Dev Saroha, at Patiala House Court pronounced the verdict through video conferencing today and will decide the quantum of the sentence on 17th November 2020 in presence of the accused.
The sentence wasn’t pronounced by the Court as the accused, Lalit D’Silva wasn’t physically present before the Court today.
While holding him guilty, the court said "It is proved beyond reasonable doubt that accused with intention to outrage the modesty of the complainant uttered the above mentioned words, as such he is liable to be convicted under section 509 of IPC."
The maximum punishment for the offence is three years jail term.
The judge said that the victim, who was working as a Sales Executive at Sri Lankan Airlines, Delhi Office, was thoroughly consistent in her statement regarding the date on which the incident happened and how it happened, from her statement given to police, in her statement under section 164 CrPC (recorded before a magistrate), and her statement made before the Court while undergoing her examination in chief.
He further noted that the accused was given opportunity to cross examine the complainant and after a lengthy cross examination she was able to stand her ground.
According to the prosecution, on October 8, 2009 the accused called the complainant in his room and outraged her modesty by asking unappreciated questions.
The accused had defended himself by submitting that he has been falsely implicated in the case by the complainant when she had failed to get herself transferred back to Delhi Station from Cochin where she was transferred by the company.
He said there was a delay in filing the FIR which shows that the case is false.
The complainant, however, said that immediately after the incident she made complaint to a number of her seniors and waited for an action to be taken against the accused, who was a senior employee of the company.
She further stated that only after realizing that no action will be taken against the accused she made a formal complaint.
The court, in its order, noted that "The complainant has been consistent in her explanation regarding delay and she being a woman in a social setting like ours is often subjected to many pressure in matters like these."
"In the present case, not only the social dignity of the complainant was on line but also there must be some professional considerations, the accused being a senior officer of the company and her boss. Thus, the explanation (for delay) given by the complainant is believable," the judge said, in a hearing held through video conferencing.
Victim's advocate Ajay Verma said the Airlines was also not supportive to her and rather they tried to cover up the incident.
The victim instead of getting support from airline was removed from service, he said.
In a separate criminal proceeding SriLankan Airlines is also facing trial for not complying with the Indian law, he said.