Apna Ghar convicts are monsters in garb of social activists: CBI judge
In his 240-page detailed order in Rohtak’s Apna Ghar sexual abuse case, CBI judge Jagdeep Singh said people like main accused Jaswanti were monsters in the garb of social activists and deserved no leniency.
He sentenced Jaswanti (in-charge of Apna Ghar), his brother-in-law Jai Bhagwan and driver Satish to life imprisonment last week. He is known for sending Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim to 20-year jail in a rape case in August last year.
The judge, however, stated in his order that there was no sufficient evidence to prove grievous charges against Jaswanti’s daughter and other accused who were left with sentence already undergone by them during the trial.
Jagdeep Singh stated that Jaswanti and her kin, who were entrusted with custody and protection of destitute children, not only crossed limits of breach of trust, but also turned NGOs into organisations violating chastity of such destitute homes.
He added that convicts took advantage of physical and social weaknesses of inmates of protection home called, Apna Ghar, knowing fully well that such destitute inmates are already victims of nature. Therefore, such abominable acts of convicts, who indulged in sexual abuse of inmates, don’t deserve any leniency
The judge said that the conduct of Jaswanti Devi further aggravated the situation by roping in others in the ghastly acts perpetrated by her inside the premises of the welfare organisation.
Jaswanti’s son-in-law Jai Bhagwan and driver Satish were also sentenced to life imprisonment in the case.
Justifying sending the three convicts to life, he said courts must not only keep in view the rights of the victims but also the society at large while considering the imposition of appropriate punishment.
‘Tore into defence arguments’
During arguments, defence counsels representing these convicts said that there were contradictions in victims’ statements. To this, judge observed that when any destitute person had been at the mercy of perpetrators of crime, then minor contradictions in the statement of victims can’t be given much importance, especially when there is no evidence to suggest that a victim had any motive to falsely implicate the accused. Even otherwise, these victims come from poor strata of society and they may not be able to express properly the sequence of the events.
Judge tore into defence’s argument casting aspersion on the “bad character” of the victims during the trial. He said this argument was quite misconceived. It is settled law that even a woman of easy virtue is not available to be sexually exploited without her will or without her consent. He added that law does not permit rape of such women even. “Even if a woman is of easy virtue, it would not give licence to anyone to commit sexual offences against her. Therefore, the argument of the accused that women raped were of easy virtue cannot escape punishment,” he added.
During trial, the defence also argued that Jaswanti and her kin were charged that they used to click nude photos of inmates but there was no recovery of any nude content in expert reports. On this, judge said that the mere non-finding of any nude content can’t be made basis to discredit the entire case