Maid assault: Air hostess in 14 days' judicial custody

New Delhi, Oct 31 (IANS) A Delhi court Thursday sent an Air India air hostess, arrested for allegedly assaulting and locking her minor maid in the house while she was abroad, to 14 days' judicial custody.

Metropolitan Magistrate Ashok Kumar, during an in-camera proceeding, sent air hostess Bira Thoibi to judicial custody till Nov 13 after the Delhi Police said she was not required for custodial interrogation.

The court also sent Thoibi's elder sister, Stoile Naubi, who had brought the 13-year-old girl to Delhi, to judicial custody after she was also presented before it.

The girl and Thoibi hail from Manipur.

The police arrested Thoibi and Naubi Thursday morning, after which they were presented in court.

The police and a non-governmental organisation Oct 28 rescued the girl after she managed to reach the terrace of her Sarojini Nagar apartment in south Delhi by slipping out from a ventilator and seeking help from neighbours.

The minor claimed that Thoibi, who had gone to Australia had locked her inside the house.

When produced before the Child Welfare Committee, the maid alleged she was beaten up several times with a belt and also starved, the police said.

The girl said neither she nor her family was paid for the work she put in.

The police told the court they have booked both the sisters under various sections of the IPC dealing with causing hurt, wrongful confinement, slavery, provisions of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, Bonded Labour Act and Child Labour Act.

Another magistrate recorded the girl's statement Wednesday after police moved a plea seeking the court's permission to record the victim's statement by a magistrate under section 164 CrPC.

The minor's statement recorded before the magistrate in his chamber would be considered a confession made during the investigation and would be used by the prosecution to support its case in the trial.

The girl, who has a slight deformity in one eye, has been sent to a shelter home in southeast Delhi and her parents are being informed. Her family lives in the Senapati district of Manipur, court sources said.

They also said that the victim's mother used to work for the air hostess's family in Manipur.

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