Placement agency sells rape victimís newborn

A couple, who used to run a placement agency, has been sentenced by a Delhi court to three years in jail for selling a rape victim's infant to a social worker.

The social worker was also sent to jail.

Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau also sentenced Manmohan, who had raped the minor girl whose child was sold by the couple to the social worker for Rs 23,000.

The court imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on Manmohan, who worked as a driver in a house, where the 17-year-old girl from Jharkhand had been sent to work as domestic help by Vinod and Preeti.

The couple, who ran a placement agency, Adivasi Sewa Samiti, had sold the infant boy to social worker Santosh Sharma in August 2007. The racket had been exposed by a television news channel in a sting operation.

According to police, the girl returned to the placement agency after her rape and gave birth to the child.

She had told police that during the delivery, she became unconscious and when she regained consciousness, she was told by Vinod and Preeti that she had given birth to a dead child. Later, she came to know that her newborn was sold by the couple to Santosh Sharma.

"It has been held that the prosecution has been able to prove and substantiate the allegations against accused Vinod, Preeti and Santosh of having kidnapped the newborn male child of the girl and having secretly and wrongfully confined the child for which they have been held guilty," Lau said.

Regarding Manmohan, the court said forensic and medical evidence established that the accused "is the biological father of the child born to the girl", which connects him with the offence of rape.

The court, in its order, also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 each on Vinod, Preeti and Santosh Sharma and directed the Delhi government to grant a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the girl and her child for their rehabilitation.

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