In a major setback to the doctor couple accused of locking up their minor maid at their home in Dwarka and leaving for Thailand on holiday, a city court has extended their police custody for three more days.
The police said that they require the couple — Dr Sanjay and Sumita Verma — to arrest one Durga from whose placement agency the couple had hired the 13-year-old domestic help.
The police have arrested one Mahadev, who had reportedly brought the girl to Delhi from her native village in Jharkhand.
“We wanted a three-day police custody of the doctor couple and Mahadev. Mahadev will tell us the location of Narayan Sahu, the main source of trafficking while the doctor couple would help us trace Durga,” a senior police officer, who did not wanted to be named, said.
Interestingly, the couple did not oppose the extension of their police custody. Instead, Sumita applied for bail, which was rejected.
The police said that Sumita might try to influence the mother of the girl if released on bail.
“The accused couple did indeed subject 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 in its order said.
On the claim made by the girl’s mother that she is not juvenile, the police said that she has not been traced yet and a team is in Jharkhand to collect relevant certificates about the age of the girl.
The police have admitted in the court that it was a case of trafficking and three more persons have been made accused in the case.
The girl’s mother had sent the 13-year-old to one Narayan Sahu who further handed her over to Mahadev. Mahadev brought the girl to Delhi and handed her over to Mukesh, the manager of a placement agency in Punjabi Bagh.
The doctor couple had hired the girl through Durga, the owner of the placement agency.
The court has also asked to incorporate the 2006 notification of the Ministry of Labour and Employment which specifically prohibits the employment of children as domestic servants, in the Delhi Action Plan for total abolition of child labour.