As per the police, three minors were brought by the NGO, International Justice Mission (IJM) to narrate the incident in question.
NGOs working in the field of anti-human trafficking and child rights protection should not be taken as a substitute to the Maharashtra/Mumbai police force and the faith and trust of the public at large in the police should be restored, the Bombay High Court recently said in an order.
Justice Sadhana Jadhav expressed her displeasure while hearing a case against a VP Road-based jeweller, held in 2013, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. In the case, witnesses were provided by the NGO and the complaint was not made to the local police station but to the additional commissioner of police, who initiated an inquiry.
Justice Jadhav said, “In several cases like the present one, this court has observed that although the state… has set up (a) social service branch as well as other branch(es) for protection of children and to rescue women in distress, especially victims of human trafficking, the police have not taken any steps on their own.”
As per the police, three minors were brought by the NGO, International Justice Mission (IJM) to narrate the incident in question. After verifying the same, the police took the children into custody and sent them to the correction home in Dongri, where they stayed for over a month without informing their parents. Later on, a complaint was registered against the accused.
The court said, “It is a sorry state of affairs that victim girls were detained in a children’s home at the instance of IJM for more than a month. They could not attend school in those days. Moreover, at the time of the trial the prosecution did not examine the NGO members and the victims or their parents.”
Jain was convicted by a special court in March. He challenged the conviction and sought release on bail, pending final hearing of the appeal.
After going through the records, the HC said, “The manner in which the investigation was initiated and propagated is doubtful. The parents were kept in dark about the incident and the IJM took charge of the victims.”
Considering the records and the fact that the accused has undergone 19 months of his sentence, the court released him on bail, pending hearing of the appeal.