Two days after the Delhi Police virtually gave a ‘clean chit’ to Uma Khurana, a city court discharged the government schoolteacher in a prostitution racket case arising out of a Live India sting operation that went miserably wrong. However, it proceeded with the case against three other accused.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Alok Aggarwal, who had earlier granted her bail and said that she was more of a victim of a fake sting operation than an offender, discharged her for want of evidence.
The court took cognisance of the police chargesheet against journalist Prakash Singh, businessman Virender Khurana and aspiring journalist Rashmi Singh, but dropped two charges pertaining to impersonation and cheating against them.
Though the ACMM said there was negligence on the part of the news channel, he said they could not be held criminally liable. This followed the investigating officer’s submission that there was not much fault of the channel, as they did not edit tapes extensively.
Khurana’s lawyer Amit Kumar had filed an application seeking discharge of his client, as the police had not produced clinching evidence against her. The police had left it to the court to take a final call on Khurana.
“Despite being a schoolteacher she knowingly and willingly handed over Rashmi to Prakash believing that she was allegedly a prostitute and he an exporter. Khurana seems to have committed an offence under section 5 of Immoral Trafficking and Prevention (ITP) Act”, said the chargsheet.
However, the police said there was no sufficient evidence against her to press charges. “The court is requested to proceed against her as deemed fit under the given facts and circumstances”, police had said in the chargesheet.
As per the chargesheet, Arora had some monetary dispute with Khurana. Despite several demands she did not return the money to him. He then came in contact with Prakash and hatched a criminal conspiracy with Prakash to implicate Khurana by carrying out a sting operation. Arora also thought that since Khurana is a schoolteacher, Prakash can easily create sensational news by showing her as running a prostitution racket involving girl students, the chargesheet said. On August 30, the TV sting was aired resulting in violence outside Khurana's school near Daryaganj in the walled city and prompted the Delhi Government to first suspend the teacher and then terminate her from service.Khurana was, however, granted bail on September 10.