The court's direction came after acquittal of a woman of charges of forcing girls into prostitution and abetting rape. "A bare perusal of charge sheet of the present case and all other cases of similar nature of police station Kamla Market clearly show the obvious inaction (against brothels) on the part of the investigation agency (in order) to shield the real culprits, who may in fact be running the entire racket of human trafficking and prostitution in the area, within their knowledge," additional sessions judge Kaveri Baweja said.
The victim had claimed that Pushpa and Lata forced her into prostitution
"I, therefore, deem it necessary to direct that a copy of this judgement be sent to the Commissioner of Police, who shall ensure that needful is done in this regard in charge sheets in future so that offence of human trafficking and prostitution can be curbed by roping in the perpetrators of these crimes. "It is hence expected that future charge sheets would reflect proper compliance of statutory provisions in this regard, instead of quietly shielding the persons who may be running these rackets of human trafficking and prostitution," the judge said.
The court acquitted Pushpa, resident of G B Road, of the charges of kidnapping and confining girls, abetting rape and various provisions of the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act as the victim was not traceable and other prosecution witness failed to support its case. Apart from her, Lata and Simran, both residents of the same area, were also accused in the case and declared proclaimed offenders.
The court gave liberty to the police to re-open the case against them if they are arrested. The case was lodged in July, 2011, on the complaint of a girl, a native of Andhra Pradesh, alleging that after the death of her parents, her sister had sent her to the house of their relative, Pushpa, who had brought her to Delhi for working as a maid in 2006.
The victim alleged that she lived with Pushpa for five months and thereafter, the accused brought her to G B Road and forced her into prostitution and also threatened her. She alleged that Pushpa did not allow her to go out of the brothel and all her earnings were kept by her.
In her statement before a magistrate, the victim had claimed that Pushpa and Lata forced her into prostitution and both of them aided and abetted customers at the brothel to forcibly establish sexual relations with her. The court said prosecution has completely failed to prove that the victim was brought to Delhi by Pushpa from Andhra Pradesh or that she was wrongfully confined at the brothel where she was forced into prostitution.
There is also no evidence to hold that Pushpa used to take away the earnings so procured from prostitution by the victim, the court said. Pulling up the police, the court said it was beyond comprehension as to why the agency chose to remain silent with regard to ownership of the brothel, even though as per their charge sheet, there was evidence in the form of statement of the victim that a brothel was in fact being run in the premises at Kotha no 56 at G B Road.
"The probe agency, for reasons best known to them, apparently made no efforts whatsoever to bring before the court any evidence either in the form of documents from Municipal records etc. or otherwise, to establish as to who is the owner of the building where the brothel is being run. "Certainly, the probe agency cannot be said to be oblivious to the fact that being the owner, landlord, besides being tenant, the lessee or occupier of a brothel house is itself an offence as per the provisions of section 3 of ITP Act," the court said.