New Delhi: Two men have been sent to seven years in jail for kidnapping a two-year-old child of their relative by a Delhi court, which observed that there is a spurt in such incidents in the capital and children are being exploited for “ransom, trafficking and human organs trade”.
Rajesh Rishi Dev and Pankaj Bhagat were, however, acquitted of the charge of kidnapping the boy for ransom.
Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said though the child’s father has proved the aspect of ransom demand, he has neither alleged nor testified on the aspect of threats.
The court said the prosecution has not led any evidence to show that at the time of ransom demand, the two men by their act or conduct threatened to cause death or hurt to the child.
The judge held Bihar natives — 40-year-old Rajesh and 25-year-old Pankaj — guilty of kidnapping the minor with an intention to secretly and wrongfully confine him.
“As on date, kidnapping has become a major problem faced by our society. It is a profitable business specifically, if the victim is a child belonging to a poor family.
“In the recent past, Delhi has experienced a spurt in the incidents of kidnapping and exploitation of small children for ransom, trafficking, beggary and human organs trade,” the court said and also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on both the convicts.
The court also convicted Rajesh under Section 368 (wrongfully concealing or keeping in confinement, kidnapped or abducted person) of the IPC.
According to the prosecution, the child was kidnapped by the two men on October 13, 2012 when Pankaj had gone to the minor’s house as they were distant relatives. The child’s father was having a wholesale business in vegetable market.
The child had gone to a nearby shop from where the men kidnapped him and took him to Bihar, the police said adding that they demanded one crore ransom from the parents and also threatened to kill or hurt the child.
The child was rescued from Bihar on October 22, 2012 and both the accused were arrested.
While convicting the duo, the court also relied on the electronic evidence, i.E call detail records which established that several calls were exchanged between the two men and the child’s father.
Pankaj and Rajesh sought leniency on the ground that they are labourers and have to support their families.
The judge refused to show leniency to the convicts saying kidnapping is an offence against the society and the courts cannot shut their eyes to permit the guilty to get away with lighter punishments just because the existing statutory laws do not sufficiently cover various situations.