Juvenile Justice Act provisions to be invoked

Almost four years after she left her village in Jharkhand hoping to get a job in the Capital, the domestic help who was rescued from the clutches of her “violent” employer at Vasant Kunj earlier this week met her mother on Friday.

“The girl’s mother arrived on board a train from Sahebganj in Jharkhand in the early hours of Friday. She was then taken to Safdarjung Hospital where she met her daughter. The two burst into tears and hugged each other. The victim narrated to her mother the inhuman behaviour she was subjected to by her employer Vandana Dheer, who is now in judicial custody,” said a representative of non-government organisation Shakti Vahini which rescued the girl along with the police and the Delhi Commission for Women.

The tribal girl’s statement, which has been recorded before a magistrate, is evidence admissible in court.

The photographs taken by the NGO while rescuing the victim, which showed the grievous injuries she had sustained, would also form part of the evidence to be evaluated by the court during trial.

‘Never paid’

Dorothy, owner of a domestic help agency who had brought the girl to the Capital and through whom Ms. Dheer had employed her, was produced in a city court on Friday. The police said Dorothy had promised Rs.4,000 per month to the girl for the job. However, she was not paid anything. However, the accused has claimed that she had brought the girl as her parents used to torture her.

Apart from the relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Bonded Labour Act, the police have invoked the SC/ST Act and the Juvenile Justice Act in the case.

Since the victim’s school certificate has been made available to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, the issue of victim’s age is settled. “Although the girl was above 18 when she was rescued, she was a minor at the time of commission of offence and hence the Juvenile Justice Act provisions have also been included in the case,” said an officer.