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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Domestic help abuse: accused's bail plea to be heard today

HTC, Agencies  New Delhi, October 04, 2013
First Published: 15:21 IST(4/10/2013) | Last Updated: 15:33 IST(4/10/2013)

A Delhi court on Friday will hear the bail plea of the 50-year-old woman executive arrested for allegedly torturing her teenage domestic help, even as police arrested the placement agent who had sent the girl to work at the house of the accused.

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The teenager, who belongs to Jharkhand, was rescued from the house in south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj a joint team of the Delhi Police and an NGO called Shakti Vahini on the evening of September 30. She was admitted to Safdarjung Hospital with severe injuries.

The girl told police she had been working for Vandana Dhir, an executive with a multinational company in Noida, and her 85-year-old mother at their house for the past one year without any remuneration. She also alleged that she was beaten up and tortured almost every day.

Dhir was arrested on October 1 for allegedly assaulting and illegally confining the girl, and was sent to judicial custody till October 15. Acase was filed under various sections of the IPC and the Bonded Labour Act.

Dhir’s counsel has claimed that the victim is mentally unstable.

On Firday, Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha will hear the arguments on Dhir’s bail application.

The girl was hired by Dhir through a placement agent who was also arrested on Friday. The placement agency directly collected her salary, which meant the teenager got no money.

Meanwhile, the teenager will be treated as a minor in the case, said the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).

“We have got the relevant documents that say she is just above 18. But she was trafficked and subjected to abuse when she was a minor,” said NCPCR member Vinod Tikoo.

“Since the crime took place when she was below 18, she will be treated as minor.”

The girl’s mother arrived from Jharkhand around 9am on Friday.

“The mother is shocked and not speaking much. She will meet her daughter around 1pm today,” said Rishikant of NGO Shakti Vahini.

The girl’s mother is unable to speak Hindi and has been accompanied by a translator from Jharkhand government.


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