A court here Thursday granted bail to a woman pilot arrested for allegedly assaulting her minor domestic help in southwest Delhi’s Dwarka, saying she had been incarcerated for a month and that keeping her in further judicial custody would serve “no purpose”.
The court also observed that as her husband was also in jail, there was no one to take care of their four-year-old child, who was suffering from “a chronic and life-threatening disease”.
Additional sessions judge Vipin Kharb was hearing the bail plea of Pournima Nilkant Somkuwar against whom the Dwarka South police station had registered a case under various Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections, including Section 370 (buying or disposing of any person as a slave), besides provisions of the Child Labour Act and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act. “Considering the…facts and that the accused is in judicial custody for the last one month and no purpose will be served by keeping her in custody, therefore, the application is hereby allowed and the accused is granted regular bail on furnishing personal bond in the sum of Rs 1 lakh with one surety in the like amount,” ASJ Kharb said.
He said at the present stage, the court was not going to discuss whether the offence for buying or disposing of any person as a slave was made out as it would have a “bearing on the framing of charges and merits of the case”.
The court said that medical documents of her four-year-old son showed that he was suffering from “ulcerative colitis, a chronic and life-threatening disease”.
“For no fault of his, he (the child) has been deprived of constant care and love and affection of his parents and regular medical treatment. On the other hand, accused for her wrong and inhuman conduct is undergoing incarceration for the last one month,” it said. The court noted that the accused’s husband was also in jail.
It said, “There is no previous involvement of the accused in any case and she has to take care of her son.” The court also noted the medico-legal case of the minor victim, according to which she had received simple injuries. Other conditions of bail included the accused not contacting the victim or her parents except for clearing their dues, attending trial, not tampering with evidence, intimating any change of address, providing her mobile phone numbers and not leaving the country, the court said. The counsel for the complainant or victim opposed the bail plea, saying the accused despite being an educated and working woman, she “mercilessly” beat the 10-year-old victim. “She has not only given physical injuries to her (the victim) but also psychological injuries which will haunt her for many years. Considering the gruesome act done by the accused she does not deserve bail,” the advocate said. The counsel for the accused said the court should balance the rights of both the children, i.e. the injured and Somkuwar’s son, and that there was no trafficking in the present case. The accused and her husband allegedly assaulted the 10-year-old girl working as a domestic help at their home. After the incident came to light on July 19 last month, they were manhandled by a mob.
In a purported video, the couple could be seen being manhandled and beaten up by a mob. Some of the women were also seen slapping and pulling the hair of the accused woman, who was in her uniform.
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