Need regulator to monitor placement agencies: Court (Lead)

January 9th, 2012 - 10:34 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 9 (IANS) Acquitting a rape accused, a Delhi court has recommended a regulatory mechanism to check placement agencies which allegedly exploit migrant domestic helps and subject them to sexual abuse.

“I may observe that there are increasing incidents of gross misuse and abuse of the laws relating to rape and sexual abuse and exploitation of uneducated, ignorant and uninformed domestic workers by unscrupulous persons/placement agencies for their personal gains,” said Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau in an order made available Monday.

If a regulator was set up, then chances of the existing penal provisions being misused to implicate innocent people would be reduced and and no guilty would go scot free, Lau said.

Judge Lau said there were large number of instances of human trafficking, especially of women, by the placement agencies. Also, most cases related to rape of migrant domestic workers in Delhi were filed by placement agencies.

The court let off north Delhi resident and rape accused Rajiv Luthra after his former maid, who is also the complainant and prosecution witness in the case, retracted from her earlier statement.

According to police, the maid from West Bengal said that she wanted to go back to her village so she ran away from Luthra’s house and reached the placement agency run by Shyam Lal.

Lal took her to police station to lodge a rape complaint against Luthra as he had not paid her salary.

Testifying as a witness, the complainant deposed that it was Lal who got recorded her statement with police.

According to the prosecution case, the complainant reached police station Shalimar Bagh along with Lal May 23, 2011 and lodged a rape complaint against Luthra. She claimed she was raped by Luthra May 5, 2011.

The court, after declaring the witness hostile, said that Lal and the complainant had committed offences relating to contempt of lawful authority of public servant, false evidence and against public justice and directed them to be presented before a magistrate for trial.

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