Job scams: Court for curbs on nefarious placement agencies

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New Delhi, March 7: A fast track court has highlighted the need for framing guidelines to curb "unscrupulous and nefarious" activities of placement agencies while freeing a man of the charges of trying to rape his female colleague.

The court acquitted the Delhi resident saying that a "major lacuna" in the case is manifest from the medical report of the accused that "he is not capable of performing sexual intercourse".

Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat observed that it is a matter of concern that uneducated, uninformed and minor girls from poor and rural backgrounds are being exploited by the "unscrupulous" agents/placement agencies. "...Thereby grossly misusing and abusing the laws related to rape and sexual abuse have been reaching the courts and are a matter of serious concern," the court said.

This is for the reason that there are no laws, rules and regulations, framed by the Government for keeping a close vigil and check on such activities carried on by the owners of various placement agencies, it said.

"It is high time that the Government wakes up to the reality and puts in place appropriate rules and guidelines so that such unscrupulous and nefarious activities being carried out by the placement agencies are curbed," the judge said.

The court noted that poor and illiterate girls brought to Delhi from remote areas of West Bengal, Bihar etc. to provide them employment and means of living are either being thrown into "prostitution or used by the owners of these private placement agencies to settle scores with their rivals".

According to the prosecution, the incident took place on the night of April 12, 2010 when the 15-year-old victim, a native of West Bengal, was sleeping in the placement agency here where she used to work.

It said that in the night the accused, who was also employed there, came to her room and tried to rape her but he ran away when she started crying. A woman, who was in the adjoining room, came there and saved her and she narrated the incident to her, it said.

On the next day, after she disclosed the incident to her sister, she and one Ganesh Burman, who also runs a placement agency, approached the police and the accused was arrested.

The accused, in his defence, said he is impotent as he was suffering from diabetes and is not in a position to have physical relations with anyone. He said Burman had come to his office to implicate the owner of the placement agency where the accused and the girl were working and since the owner was out of Delhi, the accused was falsely implicated in the case.

Burman wanted to implicate the employer of the accused as they were rivals, he had said.

The accused had also said that he was beaten by Burman and the girl's sister and brother-in-law as he was unable to tell them the owner's whereabouts.

While acquitting the accused, the judge said that there were contradictions in the testimony of the girl as she had given different versions in her three different statements.

The court also said that the information about the alleged incident was given to the police by Burman and not by her sister and brother-in-law. "There is nothing on record to explain, why prosecution witness Burman reported the matter to the police and not the girl's relatives," it said.

There are over 7,000 placement agencies in the capital, many of them unregistered. These agencies have mushroomed in recent years with the demand for domestic help shooting up as a result of the number of working couples going up and joint families giving way to nuclear ones.

PTI

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