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Teacher jailed for battering maid to death
The teenage maid was beaten with a wooden plank in a fit of rage over a minor mistake.
New Delhi: Observing that abusive and exploitative employers need to be severely dealt with, a Delhi court has sentenced a woman teacher to six years in jail for battering to death her teenage maid with a wooden plank in a fit of rage over a minor mistake.
"Abusive and exploitative employers need to be severely dealt with and punished through the justice system," said Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau, while sentencing 42-year-old trained graduate teacher (TGT) Ashu Malhotra, a resident of Rajouri Garden in West Delhi.
"In many instances, there are also counter cases of employers threatening, humiliating, beating, raping and sometimes causing death of domestic workers (as has happened in the present case)," said the judge, while also imposing a fine of Rs one lakh on the convict.
The court, however, convicted Ashu on charges of unintentional killing, under Section 304 (Part II) of the IPC, rejecting prosecution's charge of murder against the teacher.
The court took into account the autopsy report of the victim Sunita Bhengra, a domestic worker from Jharkhand, which revealed that she had sustained 43 injuries and was denied proper medical treatment.
"Forty-three injuries were observed on victim's body during the postmortem which speak volumes of the repeated physical trauma and sufferings the teenager must have faced before her death which was caused on account of blunt force impact and on the head resulting into concussion of brain," observed the court.
"The aggravating factor in the present case is the brutality with which the offence has been committed coupled with the deprivation of the deceased from proper medical treatment which is also an issue of serious rights violation," the court said.
The victim was a migrant worker and was employed as a maid at Ashu's residence through a placement agency.
On March 2-3, 2007, Ashu's husband Rajesh Malhotra informed the agency that Sunita's condition was critical.
The agency officials reached Malhotras' house and took Sunita to a nearby hospital where she was declared "brought dead."
According to the prosecution, Ashu had on February 28, 2007 assaulted Sunita with a washing baton with the knowledge and intention that those injuries were sufficient to cause death.
Ashu did not provide any medical help to the victim as she tried to conceal the injuries caused by her to shield herself from legal punishment, the prosecution said.