Keeping in mind the welfare of three minor children of a convict, who were forced to work as labourers to earn their living by their uncle, the Bombay high court on Friday directed the state to send them to a residential school at a remand home at Yerwada in Pune.
A division bench of justice BH Marlapalle and justice UD Salvi on Friday asked that three children — aged 10, eight and seven — of convict Mahadeo Londhe be kept at Ashok Vidhyalay in Pune, where they will be looked after till they turn adults.
“If as a matter of right, they can be brought up by the state (government), then why should they suffer,” said justice Marlapalle. Justice Marlapalle further said: “Court has to consider welfare of children. If the father is in jail and is unable to bring them up, we can send them to a remand home.”
Londhe, who is serving life sentence for setting his wife Banabai ablaze in March 2007 suspecting her character, had filed a bail application on the grounds that his children were living with his brother, who was making them work as child labourers, and he needed to be with them for their proper upbringing.
Additional public prosecutor Mankunwar Deshmukh opposed Londhe’s bail blea saying that even earlier his bail has been rejected on two occasions.
For children’s welfare, Deshmukh suggested that they could be kept at the remand home where children of several convicts live. Londhe, who was arrested on March 2, 2007, was released on bail after three months.
He was found guilty by a sessions court in July 2008 and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Since then he has been behind bars.
Vikas Shivarkar, Londhe’s advocate, argued that he (Londhe) had been in jail for over two years now. Also, his children were suffering as they were unable to attend school.
Londhe’s appeal against his conviction has been admitted by the high court.