Even in 21st Century Girls Treated As Commodity and Used as Medium for Financial Benefits: Bombay HC

Even in this 21st century there are incidents of girls being treated as a commodity and used as medium for financial benefits, the Bombay High Court has said while granting bail to a woman for “purchasing” a one-year-old child.

It is highly objectionable in terms of the “principles of morality and human rights” that a one-year girl was sold by her mother, a single bench of Justice S M Modak said on February 8 in its order passed on a bail plea filed by 45-year-old Ashwini Babar, arrested last year by the Satara police in Maharashtra.

The court granted bail to Babar on a surety of Rs 25,000, saying there was no need to keep her in jail as the trial in the case would not begin soon and she herself had two minor children and their welfare also needs to be considered.

The prosecution case is that Babar and her husband, also an accused in the case, had bought the one-year-old girl in return of loan advanced to the child’s mother who was in dire need of money.

When the accused couple refused to return the child after her mother repaid the loan, the latter filed a police complaint. The girl child was later returned to her mother.

“We are in the 21st century, still there are incidents wherein girls are treated as commodity and they have been used as a medium for financial benefits,” the court said in its order.

“It is highly objectionable to the principles of morality and human rights that a girl of one year is being sold by the natural mother,” it added.

The court said while it was at “great pains to use the word sale, but the hard reality of life was that the mother of the baby girl had sold her as she was in need of money”.

The accused persons advanced money without the money lending license, it noted.

“They (acccused) have committed a sin on humanity and then, went to the extent of taking the custody of the daughter and refused to return her when the mother repaid the loan,” the HC said.

The court noted that Babar’s husband and another co-accused in the case were already out on bail and that she herself has two minor children and their welfare also needs to be considered.

“One does not know when the trial is to be started and will be finished. There is no need to detain the applicant (Babar) behind bars till the conclusion of the trial,” the high court said.

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