'Probe condition of other maids'

Court asks police to conduct thorough check on placement agency

 The Delhi Police were on Saturday asked by a court here to probe the conditions of other girls who could have been employed through the placement agency which had provided a maid allegedly assaulted and confined by her employer in a Vasant Kunj house.

“Were there some other girls who were employed through the placement agency? What is their condition, find out as you (police) have invoked sections of the Bonded Labour Act and there are allegations against Dorothy (placement agent) that she did not pay these girls even after taking payment from the employer,” Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha said.

The court made the observation while hearing the arguments on the bail plea of arrested accused Vandana Dhir who is now in jail under judicial custody.

The magistrate also asked the police to find out whether money was paid to the victim for her services as a maid in Dhir’s house and also directed the investigating officer to probe about the two places where the victim had worked prior to her being employed in the house of the accused.

“Whether any amount was paid to the girl (victim)? Newspaper reports says Rs 15,000 was paid to her. Whatever the amount paid to her would be very crucial. She (victim) had worked in Noida and one other house (at Lajpat Nagar) here. What was the amount paid to her? It is very crucial. You investigate about the amount which was paid to her,” the court said.

It reserved its order on the bail plea of Dhir for October 7. It also asked the police to verify if Dhir had paid any salary to the victim.

“Had Vandana Dhir paid any salary through cash or cheque? Do you (defence counsel) have any documents? If you have any such document, you give it to the police,” it said while asking the IO to find out about the whereabouts of Kajal who was working as a maid in Dhir’s house earlier.

During the hearing, the police claimed the victim was subjected to extreme torture by Dhir and it is reflected in the photographs of the girl.

“From the photographs of the victim, one can make out that what kind of injuries have been inflicted upon her,” police said.

They added that the victim, belonging to the Scheduled Tribe community, was subjected to atrocities due to which they have invoked the provisions of the Scheduled Caste and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Police also said the mental condition of the girl was stable and they have also questioned her mother.

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