Delhi Govt. directed to give 2 lakh compensation to victim

In a case where a 17-year-old domestic maid was repeatedly raped leading to her getting pregnant and delivering a baby boy at the office of a placement agency in Shakurpur in North-West Delhi after which the infant was sold by the agency owners to a social worker for Rs.23,000, a Sessions court here has sentenced four people to varying jail terms.

Manmohan, the man who repeatedly raped the victim was sentenced to ten years imprisonment. Preeti and Vinod of Adivasi Sewa Samiti, in whose office the rape victim gave birth to an infant boy, were sentenced by Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau to three years in prison for selling the toddler to Santosh Sharma, a 56-year-old woman who runs an NGO called Naari Utthan Society and an old-age home for elderly destitute women.

Santosh was also sentenced to three years in jail.

Their criminal acts were accused by a sting operation by news channel – CNN-IBN. Following the sexual abuse she suffered while working at a West Patel Nagar home, she returned to her home in Jharkhand where she discovered she had become pregnant.

She returned to Delhi and was placed at a home at Bali Nagar by the Adivasi Sewa Samiti.

However, she was packed off from this place after the employer realised the girl was pregnant.

On August 13, 2007, she gave birth to a boy at the office of the Samiti, and a midwife was called in to help.

The midwife noticed the transfer of the baby to another party and alerted an NGO, Haq, which contacted the news channel and a sting operation was planned.

Manmohan, who denied being the father to the child, was exposed after forensic and medical tests.

Ms. Lau also directed the Delhi Government to provide Rs.2 lakh as compensation to the victim.

The court also lauded the sting operation by the channel and the workers of the NGO whose work helped reunite the victim with her new-born child.

“Sting journalism has its own risk and in the courts of law the evidence so connected with the operation/ exposé has to be carefully scrutinised and analysed just as any other piece of evidence and only after it has been found to be authentic and credible can it be relied upon. In the present case, the witnesses who had actually participated in the sting operation have deposed in the court and corroborated the testimony of the prosecutrix and it is this which has assisted this court in arriving at the truth or else in cases of trafficking the evidence is most of the time, hard to get,” the judge noted.

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