CHANDIGARH: The special CBI court in Panchkula today awarded life sentence to three accused including the main accused Jaswanti Devi in the infamous Apna Ghar sexual abuse case in which minors were exploited.
Special CBI judge Jagdeep Singh today awarded the life term to the main accused Jaswanti Devi who ran a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) Apna Ghar in Rohtak for destitute children her son-in-law Jai Bhagwan and driver Satish. In this 2012 case. While the other accused Jaswant Singh, Devi’s brother was awarded seven years jail sentence. Her daughter Sushma alias Simmi, Satish’s sister Sheela and Veena counsellor at Apna Ghar who were also convicted earlier were set off against the time they have already spent in prison.
Meanwhile another accused Roshni who was also found guilty of having forcibly taken away an inmate’s child and forging a birth certificate and Ram Prakash Saini, who worked closely with Devi both of them were released on probation.
Defence counsel Abhishek Singh Rana said the accused would appeal the order.
The accused were charged for rape, gang rape, immoral trafficking, causing grievous hurt, molestation, performing abortions without consent and cruelty towards minors.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) rescued some 103 inmates mostly children and young girls after a surprise raid on May 9, 2012.
Then the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a case and filed the charge sheet in which it named seven accused Jaswanti Devi, her daughter Sushma, her son-in-law Jai Bhagwan and Satish, her brother, besides Jaswant Singh, Veena and Sheela of sexually exploiting inmates at the orphanage. The apex agency later filed a second charge-sheet against three others Roshni, Ram Prakash Saini and Angrez Kaur Hooda.
All accused were charged with rape, forced labour, causing miscarriage without woman’s consent and criminal conspiracy.
Of the 10 accused in the case, the court acquitted Angrez Kaur Hooda a former child development project officer of Rohtak who oversaw the functioning of Apna Ghar, was acquitted of the charges on April 18.
The orphanage was run by a NGO Bharat Vikash Sangh at Rohtak’s Shrinagar Colony which was headed by Jaswanti Devi.
Several victims identified Devi during trial. A victim recounted how Jai Bhagwan sexually abused another victim in front of her.
Timeline of events
On May 7, 2012, three girls escape from Apna Ghar and contact a helpline on reaching Delhi.
On May 9, NCPCR conducts a raid at the Apna Ghar and 103 inmates. Jaswanti Devi and others were arrested.
On June 8, Haryana Government seals the shelter and a week later hands over the investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
On August 7, CBI files first charge sheet against 10 people in special CBI court in Panchkula.
On September 16, CBI files supplementary charge sheet.
On September 23, 2014: CBI court frames charges against all accused.
On April 18, 2018, Nine of 10 accused held guilty.
On April 27, three accused get life terms.