Delhi: Court gives life term to abductor

New Delhi: A Delhi court has sentenced a 28-year-old man to life imprisonment for kidnapping the minor son of a Jharkhand police constable while observing that India cannot prevent crime against its children despite being an emerging economy.

Additional Sessions Judge Sudhir Kumar Jain sentenced North West Delhi resident Virender for kidnapping six-year-old Akash for ransom.

While sentencing Virender, the court said, "India is a globalisation success but cannot look after its children.

"As per a study, over 40,000 children on an average in India are reported missing every year out of which 11,000 children remain untraced. Over the last few decades, the incidents of kidnapping, particularly of minor children, have increased," the judge said.

The prosecution case was that Virender conspired with Subhash, Monu, Deen Dayal and Akash's uncle Sanjeev and kidnapped Akash on October 2, 2004 while he was playing in a park near his house at Mongolpuri. He then phoned Akash's neighbours demanding a ransom of Rs 6 lakh and directed that the same be sent through Sanjeev.

Akash's father Rajesh arranged Rs 1.98 lakh and police nabbed Virender and his accomplice when they came to collect the money.

Virender named Sanjeev as one of his accomplice and at their instance Akash was recovered on October 5, 2004.

While Sanjeev and Monu were sent to juvenile justice board after they were found to be juveniles at the time of committing the offence, Deen Dayal and Subhash were acquitted for want of cogent evidence against them.

Declining Virender's plea for leniency, ASJ Jain said, "The children are kidnapped for variety of reasons such as domestic labour, marriage, begging and prostitution. There is need to understand the magnitude of kidnapping of children for variety of reasons. Even in some cases, the children have been killed when the parents are not able to pay ransom amount.

"It is the duty of every person connected with the administration of justice to enforce the law in respect of kidnapping of children when the case is brought before the court for prosecution in accordance with law," he said.