In this post we will discuss about the infamous Apna Ghar Sexual Exploitation case which was blow to humanity and human dignity
APNA GHAR: SEXUAL EXPLOITATION CASE
The apna ghar horror unfolded what may be called a blow to humanity and human dignity. The event came into light when three girls ran off the scandalous shelter home in Rohtak, on May 7, 2012 and somehow managed to reach delhi. They were rescued by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) which later lifted the veil off “apna ghar”. The case reached the said authority when a call was placed by the escaped victim to child helpline number. Jaswanti devi alongwith several relatives ran that shelter which was meant for destitutes and orphans and another one, Swadhar, for women from a house called Apna Ghar in Rohtak.
On 9 may 2012, when the shelter home was raided, around 120 captives were rescued and a month later, the shelter home was sealed. The arrests were on 10 May 2012, and 7 out of 10 arrested persons faced the trials. In June the government handed over to CBI for probe. On August 7, CBI files first charge sheet against 10 people in special CBI court in Panchkula against seven people—prime accused Jaswanti Devi, her daughter Sushma, her son-in-law Jai Bhagwan, Satish, her brother Jaswant Singh, Veena and her cousin Sheela. A month later CBI filed supplementary charge sheet against three people—Roshni, Ram Prakash Saini and Angrez Kaur Hooda.
The trial saga unfolded horrors that the victims had undergone and played a vital role in identifying the main accused. Young, minor and disabled victims, all of them were subject to molestation, sexual abuse, outraging modesty, rape, trafficking and other hurling abuses.
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.
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, a total of nine people were held guilty by a special CBI court. Jaswanti devi along with her son in law Jai bhagwan and driver satish got life sentence.
Moreover Jaswanti devi was held guilty under IPC sections pertaining rape, Juvenile justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. Section 4 & 5 of immoral traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 and section 120B read with section 374 of the IPC and was awarded sentences commencing from life imprisonment to rigorous imprisonment of various periods for each of the offences.
In the recent development, the main convict Jaswanti devi appealed before the Punjab and Haryana high court in order get the suspension of her sentence till the pendency of her appeal against her conviction. The high court rightly dismissed the appeal. Since the material on record clearly dictates the fact that jaswanti devi has acted recklessly and even allowed her inmates to sexually exploit the victims. The series of events that took place in “Apna Ghar” resulted in death of some and causing serious injuries to others while leaving rather a permanent scar on minds of the victims.
Trials revealed the plight of the victims and victims were both girls and boys of tender age. The disabled victims were provided with interpreters, which further unfolded the tales of horror that baffled human conscious. The perpetrators of such heinous crimes must not be let off the hook easily and there by any sort of relief to them would be unjust. Moreover, convicts of such nature should not be allowed live freely in mainstream society and such a grave error would be detrimental to society at large.
Sexual harassment is considered to be violation of fundamental’s right of human being. It is against the human rights standards set at the international level .the sexual harassment against women at workplace act as an alternative structure and process is welcomed, but needs much alteration. In India there are no such laws made for men in these issues, we cannot neglect the fact men in some or the other way they may be facing sexual harassment at workplaces. Moreover, the utmost need at this time is a change in the mindset of the people to understand the fears.
This post is written by Abhishek Pathak
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