Court asks police to probe of conditions of other maids

Delhi Police were asked by court to probe conditions of other girls employed through placement agency which had provided a maid allegedly assaulted and confined by her employer in a Vasant Kunj house.

New Delhi: The Delhi Police were on Saturday asked by a court here to probe the conditions of other girls who could have been employed through the placement agency which had provided a maid allegedly assaulted and confined by her employer in a Vasant Kunj house.
"Were there some other girls who were employed through the placement agency? What is their condition, find out as you (police) have invoked sections of the Bonded Labour Act and there are allegations against Dorothy (placement agent) that she did not pay these girls even after taking payment from the employer," Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha said.

The court made the observation while hearing the arguments on the bail plea of arrested accused Vandana Dhir who is now in jail under judicial custody.

The magistrate also asked the police to find out whether money was paid to the victim for her services as a maid in Dhir`s house and also directed the investigating officer (IO) to probe about the two places where the victim had worked prior to her being employed in the house of the accused.

"Whether any amount was paid to the girl (victim)? Newspaper reports says Rs 15,000 was paid to her. Whatever the amount paid to her would be very crucial.

"She (victim) had worked in Noida and one other house (at Lajpat Nagar) here. What was the amount paid to her? It is very crucial. You (police) investigate about the amount which was paid to her," the court, which reserved its order on the bail plea of Dhir for October 7, said.

It also asked the police to verify if Dhir had paid any salary to the victim.

"What about her salary? Had Vandana Dhir paid any salary through cash or cheque? Do you (defence counsel) have any documents? If you have any such document, you give it to the police," it said while asking the IO to find out about the whereabouts of Kajal who was working as a maid in Dhir`s house earlier.

During the hearing, the police claimed the victim was subjected to extreme torture by Dhir and it is reflected in the photographs of the girl.

"From the photographs of the victim, one can make out that what kind of injuries have been inflicted upon her," they said adding the victim, belonging to the Scheduled Tribe community, was subjected to atrocities due to which they have invoked the provisions of the Scheduled Caste and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

The police also said the mental condition of the girl was stable and they have also questioned her mother.

The sources said the girl`s mother had told the police that she had five children and due to poverty, she had sent her daughter to work in Delhi but she did not know that her daughter would be subjected to such cruelty by her employer.

"We are going by what the girl is saying. She was forced to drink urine," the police told the court.

Dhir`s counsel Rudra Kahlon, however, sought bail saying the police have already investigated the matter and his client was no more required for any interrogation.

He claimed provisions of section 326 of IPC (voluntarily causing grevious hurt by dangerous weapon) was not made out as there were no sharp cuts on the girl`s body.

He referred to the medical report of the girl and said no where it was mentioned that there were sharp or blunt cuts.

Regarding the provision of section 307 (attempt to murder) under the IPC, Kahlon said there was prima facie no such intention.

On police`s arguments that the injuries were dangerous, the defence counsel said it is for the doctor to say and police cannot say this.

Regarding the provisions under the Scheduled Caste and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, he said in the FIR it was not mentioned that Dhir had discriminated against the girl as she belonged to Scheduled Tribe community.

"What is prima facie evidence that I (Dhir) discriminated against her as she was from the SC/ST community"? he said.

The girl was not a minor and Dhir had brought the girl to work as a maid in her house from the placement agency, he said adding there was no evidence that the girl was not paid her salary by his client.


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