A 41-year-old Mumbai businessman, Vikas Sachdev, was convicted of sexual abuse and sexual assault of a young actor on a Delhi-Mumbai flight in December 2017. The actor, who was in his teens when the incident occurred, He announced his departure from Bollywood more than a year after the incident, citing religious reasons.
The special court for sexual crimes against children has sentenced Sachdev to three years in prison.
“I plead guilty to section 354 (Discomfort) of the Criminal Code of India and Section 8 (sexual assault) of the Law on the Protection of Children against Sexual Offenses (POCSO),” said special judge AD Deo in his verdict. He faces a minimum prison sentence of three years under POCSO.
The prosecution had examined seven witnesses, including the former actor, a passenger and two cabin crew members.
Read also: The Bollywood teen actor alleges sexual abuse on the flight of Vistara, the Mumbai FIR police file
The award-winning former actor had shared between tears his terrible experience in a video posted on Instagram in December 2017, accusing the passenger on the Air Vistara flight of rubbing her foot against her back and neck while she was half asleep.
In his post, he said that a passenger who was sitting behind her in the executive class had put his feet on his armrest.
“Then, I was on a flight traveling from Delhi to Mumbai today and just behind me, a middle-aged man who made my two-hour trip miserable. I tried to record it on my phone to understand it better because the cabin lights were dimmed, I didn’t get it …
“The lights were dimmed, so it was even worse. He continued for another five to ten minutes and then I was sure of it. He kept pushing my shoulder and kept moving his foot up and down my back and neck, ”he had said in the video post.
The businessman and his wife had responded to the complaint, insisting that Sachdev returned from a funeral, was mentally disturbed and asleep when the incident occurred. It was not intentional, his wife had said.