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UK molestation victim alleges humiliation in Gujarat court

September 16, 2009 19:14 IST

A  23-year-old British woman, who was allegedly molested by a plumber in August, has written a letter to the Gujarat High Court Chief Justice, complaining of 'humiliation' during the hearing of the case at a metropolitan court in Ahmedabad.

In a letter to Chief Justice K S Radhakrishnan on Tuesday, the woman alleged that Sanjay Prajapati, the lawyer representing the plumber, humiliated her by asking whether she smoked or consumed alcohol, her lawyer Meena Jagtap said.

She further claimed that Prajapati, during the hearing in the court of magistrate N M Gundeliya on Monday, had asked her questions in Gujarati which she could not comprehend and that she was not provided with a translator.

Even Public Prosecutor J S Joshi left the court during the cross-examination to attend the hearing of another case, she complained.

On Tuesday, the woman brought her own counsel, Meenal Jagtap, to the court, who also acted as a translator. The woman, who is attending a three-month internship programme with a city-based NGO, earlier filed an FIR with a local police station alleging that local plumber, Pragnesh Chhatrada, molested her on August 24 when he had come to her residence for a plumbing job. Following the complaint, Chhatrada was arrested and a charg-sheet was filed against him.

Meanwhile, the British woman moved a plea to conduct the hearing in the case in-camera, which was accepted by the court. During such a hearing, only the judge, the victim, her lawyer, the accused and his lawyers can remain present in the courtroom.

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