• 1 Jan 2016
• Hindustan Times (Mumbai)
• Charul Shah [email protected]
MUMBAI: Negligence of the police machinery encourages flesh trade, observed a special woman’s court’s judge while acquitting a woman accused of forcing another woman into prostitution. The court also asked the registry to inform the commissioner of police about the negligence in investigation.
Judge AS Shende was hearing the trial against Devi Tamang charged with forcing a woman into flesh trade and also to undergo abortion. According to the prosecution, the victim, who is married, was pushed into prostitution on pretext of a better job.
Devi was charged under section 313 (causing miscarriage without woman’s consent) and 370 (buying or disposing of any person as a slave) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) along with the charges of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (ITPA).
The prosecution examined five witnesses but failed to prove that the accused forcibly aborted the victim’s pregnancy or how she was sold into prostitution, the court said. Devi, in her defence, denied all allegations and pleaded she was herself trapped in a prostitution racket but the police neglected her complaint.
The court observed that the prosecution failed to prove the charges against the accused and the police failed to investigate the case.
“Many are involved in flesh trade. Both the victim and the accused are trapped in this. Investigations were not made as to how the accused and the victim were brought to Delhi or Shirpur. It is also unclear as to how she was brought to Mumbai. Special officers were not informed about the investigation,” the court said.
The court also asked the registry to inform the Mumbai police commissioner about the loopholes in the investigations. “Inform the commissioner of police, Mumbai, regarding the negligence in investigation as the incident is found as a piece in a chain of prostitution business,” read the order.
The court, meanwhile, asked NGO Prayas to rehabilitate both women. “Though the accused has been acquitted, it is apparent that she is into flesh trade. Therefore she needs to be rehabilitated too. NGO Prayas has been directed to arrange for rehabilitation and to keep the accused under surveillance. In case no rehabilitation is required, she be taken to her native place safely and report this to this court,” the court observed.