The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Minor in dock shocks judge
- Three-year-old accused of assaulting woman

Patna, Sept. 30: A Bihar court judge was visibly “shocked” to see two minor sisters appearing before him in a case of “serious” offence.

Two sisters Rinku Kumari (3) and Sangita Kumari (7) appeared along with their parents, Ramchandra Mahto and Ganga Devi, in the court of the district and sessions judge, Darbhanga, on September 25 for bail under various sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC).

“It is really shocking to see this small child sitting in her mother’s lap,” the judge remarked, saying: “Rinku and Sangita are too small to appear in a court of law seeking bail.”

“The judge was really shocked and anguished,” said the lawyer, Arun Kumar Choudhary, who was representing Ramchandra Mahto and Ganga Devi.

Choudhary said Ganga Devi was holding the three-year-old in her lap while standing in the dock.

“The two girls do not require bail. They are innocent,” the judge observed, sparing them. He also enlarged Mahto and his wife on bail.

One Bhageshwari Devi of Bahadur locality in Darbhanga lodged a case alleging grievous assault on her and theft in her house on August 30 in the court of chief judicial magistrate.

Bhageshwari made the entire family members of Ramchandra, including the two kids as accused. The CJM directed the police to take action in the case.

The Darbhanga superintendent of police, K.S. Anupam said that the age of two girls were not mentioned in the original FIR leading the investigating official (IO) to chargesheet the minors.

She, however, said that the IO should have gone to the accused persons’ house to verify the age of the accused.

“We are looking into the matter,” the superintendent of police, said. The news came to the fore today when the SP summoned the Bahadurpur police station officials to inquire into the matter.

Incidentally, Rinku has been charged with forcibly taking away a flowerpot, while Sangita has been charged with grievously assaulting Bhageshwari Devi.

Arun Kumar Choudhary said that the police administration must lodge a criminal case against the IO concerned in the relevant sections and initiate proceedings against him.

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