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Trafficked domestic help moves HC against acquittal of placement agency owner

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

A domestic help, who was allegedly assaulted and illegally confined by her employer, today moved the High Court challenging the acquittal of a placement agency owner, whom she had accused of trafficking her from to

While the employer woman was held guilty of voluntarily causing hurt to the victim by dangerous weapons or means, the placement agency owner was acquitted under the Bonded Labour Act by the trial court in February this year.

Today, Justice sought response of the State and on the plea of victim, a resident of Jharkhand, in which she has claimed that the acquittal had resulted in grave injustice to her as she had been a victim of trafficking by when she was a minor and would set a dangerous precedent.

The court listed the matter for further hearing on January 7 next year.

The victim was 15 years old when she was allegedly trafficked and brought to She was 18 years old when she was rescued by a joint team of NGO Shakti Vahini and from Dhir's residence.

Senior H S Phoolka said the victim has filed the appeal with assistance of NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan after the failed to challenge the acquittal of the accused.

He argued that Dorothi not only trafficked the victim, but violated her fundamental rights, including right to life, as she was brutally beaten up and abused by Dhir.

"Acquitting Dorothi results in letting off of the most important link in the chain of trafficking of the victim that has destroyed her life....

"The impugned judgement also sets a very dangerous precedent, in as much as the benefit that has been given to Dorothi by the trial court under a misplaced application of the Bonded Labour Act, 1976, would result in other traffickers being acquitted too, thereby defeating the very objective of the Act," the appeal, filed through Prabhsahay Kaur, said.

It claimed that the trial court failed to appreciate that the placement agency simply places a in a house for carrying out work but for all purposes, the is employed with the agency.

"The placement agency cannot be absolved of its liability by merely stating that the atrocities were carried out by the home owner," it said.

The incident dates back to September 30, 2013, when the victim was rescued from Dhir's Vasant Kunj home where she had been working as a domestic help and was admitted to with injuries.

The plea alleged that through the years, the victim was brutally assaulted by Dhir and abused and exploited by Dorothi and she was neither paid salary nor allowed to contact her family in

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, July 10 2018. 17:45 IST