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Court pulls up doctor-couple for offer of Rs 75,000 to settle case

Court pulls up doctor-couple for offer of Rs 75,000 to settle case

Court pulls up doctor-couple for offer of Rs 75,000 to settle case

SHALINI NARAYAN IN THE INDIAN EXPRESS

A court on Friday pulled up doctors Sanjay and Sumita Verma, arrested for allegedly locking up a 13-year-old domestic help in their Dwarka flat while they holidayed abroad, for offering a compensation of Rs 75,000 to settle the case.

The court of Metropolitan Magistrate Arun Verma extended the police custody of the couple by three days, after police insisted that custody was imperative to unearth the human trafficking racket involving the girl. Apart from the money, the couple also offered to provide vocational training to the girl.

While pulling up the Vermas for their offer to pay, the court reminded them that they had subjected the victim to a treatment “which can best be described as torture”.

 “The fact that the victim was locked up alone in a house with no information as to when her employers would return, is enough to cause unimaginable mental anguish to her,” the court observed. The counsel for Sumita Verma sought bail for her on the ground that she has an 11-year-old daughter.

 However, noting “that the whereabouts of the mother (of domestic help), who is purportedly making claims with respect to the juvenility of the child, are still unknown”, the court rejected the plea, stating that “there is every possibility that if the accused Sumita Verma is enlarged on bail, the mother (of the help) may be influenced and the child may be coerced to retract from her statement”.

 The accused’s counsels, F K Jha and Sanjit Kumar, argued that “the victim addressed the accused as ‘bhaiya and bhabhi’, indicative of the relationship between them. They said injuries sustained by the victim are “simple”.

The counsels said, “Charges levelled out of sheer professional jealousy… There would be no occasion for an NGO to obtain information regarding… such an offence, and it is the accused couple’s competitors that have launched this false prosecution.”

But counsels Ravi Kant and Ashok Kumar Singh, appearing for NGO Shakti Vahini, said, “The victim used to clean the clinic of the couple. Since the couple were doctors… swabs of blood and other human tissues would be present in the clinic, and exposing a 13-year-old to such substances would be nothing short of employing her for hazardous purposes.”

 The court said, “Three co-accused — Mukesh, the manager of the placement agency, Durga, its owner, and Narain Sahu, who facilitated this illegal trafficking — are yet to be nabbed. The custody of the accused, Sumita Verma, is imperative to bust this syndicate… the bail plea is rejected.”

Police have also arrested Mahadev, who reportedly brought the girl to Delhi from Gumla in Jharkhand.

SHALINI NARAYAN IN THE INDIAN EXPRESS

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