How the Apna Ghar sexual abuse case unfolded
Here’s the round-up of the Apna Ghar sexual abuse case:Updated: Apr 27, 2018 16:21 IST
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
It was the courageous escape of three girls from Apna Ghar, a shelter home in Rohtak, on May 7, 2012 that exposed the naked dance of brutality inside it.
What followed was the swift rescue operation by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) that took the lid off from this scandal. A day after escape, girls reached Delhi via Bhiwani where they were rescued following their call to child helpline number.
Later, around 120 inmates were rescued and a month later, Apna Ghar was sealed. Seven out of 10 persons who faced the trial were arrested on May 10, 2012 and the case was handed over to CBI for probe. The first chargesheet was filed on August 7, 2012, and supplementary on September 16, 2013, which named three more accused.
Nine people, including main accused Jaswanti Devi, her daughter Sushma alias Simmi, son-in-law Jai Bhagwan, brother Jaswant, cousin Sheela, acquaintance Roshni, driver Satish, employee Ram Prakash Saini and counsellor Veena were held guilty by a special CBI court.
All of them were tried for rape, abortion without consent, voluntarily causing hurt, assault or use of criminal force on a woman with intent to outrage her modesty, unlawful compulsory labour, criminal intimidation, criminal conspiracy and violation of the Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act and the Juvenile Justice Act.An additional charge of gangrape was framed against Jai Bhagwan and Satish.
■ As many as 121 prosecution witnesses were examined during the trial. A counsel privy to the trial said testimony of 10-12 inmates was vital to the case as they had identified the main accused and recalled horrific experiences they had undergone during their stay at Apna Ghar.
■ A 20-year-old witness in her court testimony said that prime accused Jaswanti Devi’s brother Jaswant and son-in-law Jai Bhagwan were regular visitors to the shelter. She said they, along with driver Satish, raped her repeatedly in the centre’s hall.
■ A deaf and mute witness, who deposed in the court through an interpreter, said that she was repeatedly raped by Jai Bhagwan, leading to a pregnancy. After she gave birth, the baby was allegedly sold off.
■ There were two other mentally challenged victims. One of them, a male, testified in court to being sexually abused.
■ Another minor victim told the court that co-accused Satish would insert his fingers in her private parts. Whenever she refused and complained about it, Jaswanti rebuked her and told her to remain silent.
• May 7, 2012: Three girls escape from Rohtak’s government-funded shelter home Apna Ghar and contact a helpline after reaching Delhi.
• May 9: NCPCR conducts a raid at the Apna Ghar shelter home and rescues over 100 inmates. Jaswanti Devi, who ran the shelter, and several of her relatives are arrested.
• June 8: The Haryana government seals the shelter and a week later hands over the investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
• August 7: CBI files chargesheet against 10 people in special CBI court in Panchkula.
• September 23, 2014: CBI court frames charges against all accused and begins trial.
• February 14, 2018: Evidence closed and final arguments begin.
• April 18: Nine of 10 accused held guilty.
• April 27: Special CBI court sentences Jaswanti Devi, her son-in-law Jai Bhagwan and driver Satish to life imprisonment
First Published: Apr 27, 2018 16:16 IST