Mar 02, 2014 at 09:56am IST

New Delhi: Making stalking a non-bailable offence after December 16, 2012 gangrape case was a hurried decision as several facets were missed out, a Delhi court said seeking a mechanism in place to look into the matter. The observation was made by the court of Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau while sentencing a man, who was obsessed with his ex-girlfriend and used to stalk her even after her marriage, to two years of jail for molestation.

The court also directed the prison authorities to get him treated for “psychotic obsessiveness”. On the issue of stalking, the court said after the Delhi gangrape case, the government hurriedly swung into action and brought about an ordinance which culminated into an act (Criminal Law Amendment Act 2013) making stalking a specific offence under the IPC. “However, most unfortunately it was a knee jerk reaction in order to assuage the public anger but in that hurried process certain facets connected with stalking have not been taken care off and there is an urgent need to put in place a mechanism which could take care off several aspects,” it said.

Hearing the case, judge Lau observed that convict Ashok Singh’s compulsive obsessive behaviour resulted in disbalanced conduct and the possibility of him repeating it even after his release and perhaps with more vengeance, cannot be ruled out. “Therefore, to ensure the safety of the woman there is a desirability of keeping him out of circulation of the society at least till such some time he receives a proper treatment for his stalking behaviour,” the court said while holding him guilty of offences of molestation and criminal intimidation.

Making stalking criminal offence hurried decision: Delhi court

The court also directed the prison authorities to get him treated for “psychotic obsessiveness”.

“During this period convict Ashok Singh be got checked and treated for psychotic obsessiveness for the woman, preferably from Institute of Human Behaviour and Applied Sciences (IHBAS) under intimation to this court. “I am informed that NGO Sampurna has been got involved and is providing psychotic help to both the woman and the wife of the convict in order to help both of them to cope up with their lives,” the judge said.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on Singh, 31, and said the amount be given to the woman as compensation. The court observed that Singh, who is married and has a child, is having a mental fixation for his ex-girlfriend, whom he could not marry due to family’s opposition. It further said that Singh is obsessed with his past relationship and is not ready to relent despite being made aware that his behaviour is “distressing, unwanted and objectionable” to the woman.

According to the prosecution, Singh and the woman had a love affair of seven years but they could not marry due to family opposition as they belonged to different castes and he got married to someone chosen by his parents. The woman’s family also got her married to someone else but this was not acceptable to Singh who started following her to her matrimonial house and did objectionable things outside her house. Due to this, the woman’s husband left her and she was forced to return to her parental house. After sometime, her parents again got her married to someone else but this marriage was also ruined within a month due to Singh’s misbehaviour, the police said.

Singh, who was maintaining physical relations with his wife, again started a relationship with the woman and had sexual intercourse with her several times, they said. They further said that while Singh’s wife and family started approaching the woman to call off her relations with the man, she was forced by Singh to remain with him.

Being fed up with all this, the woman approached Shalimar Bagh Police Station and lodged a case against him for offences of rape, causing hurt and under the provisions of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The court, however, acquitted Singh and his father of the charges of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

During the proceedings, the welfare officer had told the court that Singh even used to write letters to the woman from jail and call her to meet him. The officer added that risk to the woman’s life would be reduced if they were kept at different places.

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