STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: Motor Vehicle Inspector Chander Mohan Sharma on Friday got relief from State High Court as the court ordered stay on FIR registered against him under Section 354-E RPC at Police Station Gandhi Nagar on the complaint of a woman Senior Assistant in the office of ARTO Board of Inspection (BOI), Motor Vehicle Department (MVD). Motor Vehicle Inspector Chander Mohan Sharma has filed a petition in the State High Court seeking quashment of FIR against him lodged by aforesaid employee of the MVD. After hearing Advocate Gagan Basotra appearing for petitioner, Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur of State High Court issued notices to SSP Jammu, Gandhi Nagar SHO and woman employee of MVD, and directed them to file objections and in the meanwhile ordered that subject to objections and till next date before the Bench, proceedings under FIR No.154/2019 dated June 8, 2019, registered with Police Station, Gandhi Nagar, Jammu only in regard to Section 354-E of the RPC shall remain stayed. Advocate Basotra submitted that FIR was initially registered for offences under Section 354-A, which according to him is bailable. It is stated that the petitioner obtained bail from the Court of competent jurisdiction on June 11, 2019. It is stated that after realising that the petitioner had not been arrested, the complainant managed incorporation of offences under Section 354-E viz. sextortion, which has recently been amended by way of an Amendment Act, 2018 in the RPC, pursuant to the directions passed by the Division Bench of this Court in PIL. It is further stated that whereas the initial FIR was registered on June 8, 2019 under Section 354-A, the offence of 354-E was incorporated after a gap of several days. On a bare perusal of the complaint filed under Section 156(3) Cr. PC before the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jammu read with the bare provisions of Section 354-E, it was urged that the essential ingredients of 354-E are that the sextortion can be alleged only if a person being in a position or authority or being in a fiduciary relationship or being a public servant, abuses such authority or fiduciary relationship or misuses his official position to employ physical forms of coercion to extort or demand sexual favours from any woman in exchange of some benefits or other favours that such person is empowered to grant of withdrawal. It was urged that the petitioner is working as a Motor Vehicle Inspector in the Board of Inspection (Goods), whereas the complainant is working as a Senior Assistant in the Board of Inspection (Passenger). It is stated that both the sections are independent and are under the overall control of different ARTOs, however, the RTO and the Transport Commissioner are the same. It was urged that the petitioner was not empowered to grant any favour or to withhold any benefit in the circumstances and it was the Transport Commissioner, who was the overall Incharge of the Department.
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