People watch ‘tamasha’, but don’t help the police: Court

New Delhi: It is a common scenario when people watch ‘tamasha’ (drama) at a crime spot and do not help the police in its investigation, a Delhi court has observed.

Dealing with a case of stalking of a 10-year-old girl, the court relied on the testimony of the victim as the people in the neighbourhood where the incidents had occured and the passers-by kept themselves away from the probe.

The girl had complained about four acts of stalking by a man on different dates when he tried to lure her by showing currency notes and trying to induce her by giving some snacks. The man is presently on bail after being jailed for 18 months.

“It is a judicially noticeable fact that public persons try to avoid police proceedings and generally do not participate in criminal cases by going to the police station and courts.

“They are ready to see ‘tamasha’ (drama) at the spot but do not cooperate with the police authorities. In such a situation, the statement of the investigating officer that he asked some passers-by or neighbours to join the investigation and they refused, cannot be disbelieved,” Additional Sessions Judge Ashwani Kumar Sarpal said.

The court made the observation while holding the man, named Suraj, guilty of repeatedly stalking the minor girl, a student of class five, whenever she used to go to school or market in an East Delhi locality.

The court is likely to pronounce next week its order on the quantum of sentence for the offence of stalking which entails a maximum of three-year jail term in a case of first conviction and five years for a repeat of the offence.

The child’s mother had lodged a complaint with the police in Geeta Colony in July 2015 that Suraj used to follow her daughter regularly. She had once raised an alarm after spotting him stalking her daughter and called the police.

The court said the child has mentioned four specific instances which clearly showed that the man was stalking her and had said it could be presumed that he was doing this act with sexual intent.

“The testimony of this victim cannot be disbelieved merely on the ground that no specific date, time or place is mentioned where accused stopped her and offered to provide eatable thing. It cannot be expected from a little child of 10 years to remember all these details minutely,” the court said.

It said that non-examination of any other eye witness, the child’s friends who were with her at the time of the incidents, was not sufficient to discard the victim’s statement.

“The non-examination of the complainant, being the mother of the victim or any other eye witness in the present situation, becomes immaterial when the testimony of the child is reliable and convincing. I find no ground to reject the testimony of the victim,” the judge said.

During the trial, the man denied the allegations against him but chose not to examine himself or any other witness in his defence.