Calling a girl “item” derogatory: Mumbai Court convicts man for harassing teenager

Calling a girl “item” is derogatory as it objectifies her in a sexual manner, said a Special POCSO Court in Mumbai while sentencing a man to 1.5 years imprisonment for sexual harassment of a 16 year old girl.

The man had asked the girl “kya item kidhar ja rahi ho ?” and pulled her hair, Live Law reported.

“Such offences need to be dealt with a heavy hand as a lesson needs to be meted out to such road side romeos, in order to protect the women from their uncalled for behaviour,” read the court order.

According to Justice S J Ansari, the “item is a term used generally by boys to address girls in a derogatory fashion as it objectifies them in a sexual manner, the same will clearly indicate his intention of outraging her modesty.”

The woman survivor had been complaining about the accused and his friends harassing her. He would continuously follow her and used to address her “item,” Live Law reported. However, on 14 July, 2015, the 16-year-old was returning from school when the the accused pulled her hair and asked her “kya item kidhar ja rahi ho ?” and commented “”ae item sun na””. On being told to stop, the accused began hurling abuses at her forcing her to call the police helpline.

The accused Abrar Khan fled by the time the police reached. An FIR was registered subsequently and the accused secured anticipatory bail, the legal website reported.

The judge held him guilty under sections 354 of the IPC and section 12 of the POCSO Act.