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Apna Ghar sexual abuse: CBI seeks maximum punishment for accused, sentencing on Apr 27

Their sentencing should be exemplary as to create a deterrent in the society for such heinous crime. CBI senior counsel Jitender Kumar.

india Updated: Apr 25, 2018 16:41 IST
Vivek Gupta
Vivek Gupta
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Apna Ghar sexual abuse,Apna Ghar,CBI
Accused Jaswanti Devi outside a CBI court in Panchkula on Tuesday. (Sant Arora/HT )

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sought maximum punishment for all nine convicts in Rohtak’s Apna Ghar sexual abuse case during a hearing in a special CBI court. The sentencing will be pronounced on April 27 after 2pm.

Referring to the ‘horrifying’ conduct of convicted Apna Ghar in-charge Jaswanti Devi and her kin, CBI senior counsel Jitender Kumar said that their act was unpardonable as the victims were orphans and already deserted in the society.

The inmates of Apna Ghar, including minor, adult and physically challenged girls, were deposed during the trial and narrated painful ordeal of rape and sexual exploitation at the hands of the accused.

“Their sentencing should be exemplary as to create a deterrent in the society for such heinous crime,” he said during the court hearing.

The case came to light on May 9, 2012, after a team from the National Council for the Protection of Child Rights conducted a surprise raid at a shelter home, Apna Ghar, in Rohtak’s Shrinagar colony and rescued nearly 120 inmates.

The shelter was run by Jaswanti along with her family members and other employees that were arrested after the case handed with the CBI, following a report of court commissioner appointed by the Punjab and Haryana high court, soon after the raid.

Apart from Jaswanti, her daughter Sushma alias Simmi, son-in-law Jai Bhagwan, brother Jaswant, cousin Sheela, driver Satish, employee Ram Prakash Saini and counsellor Veena have been convicted on various charges of sexual and physical molestation of inmates. Another accused Roshni has been convicted for buying a child born out of a rape victim.

Defence seeks leniency

The defence counsel of the accused sought leniency from the court. Roshni’s counsel sought lesser punishment for her as she is suffering from cancer.

Satish’s wife pleaded that she has two kids to look after. With an ailing father in law, her husband was only one to support them, she reasoned.

Jaswanti’s counsel said that she has already spent over six years in jail and should be shown some mercy.

Prosecution and defence

During the trial, the CBI counsel rested his argument on firm testimony of inmates who stood their ground in exposing Jaswanti and her aides’ barbaric act of sexual and physical abuses such as repeated rapes, inserting in private parts besides forced abortion. Besides, it had a DNA evidence of a new born baby that was born out of forced sexual exploitation of a visually and hearing impaired victim.

On the other hand, the defence counsel argued that all scientific evidences linked to this case including pictures and videos tilted in favour of the accused following forensic reports.

They said many victims whose testimony threw allegations of rape and other heinous charges against Jaswanti and others, had ‘compromised’ past.

The prosecution had examined 121 witnesses, 35 of them were inmates of the shelter while defence had produced 26 witnesses during the trial.

First Published: Apr 25, 2018 16:41 IST