New Delhi: A court here has ordered framing of charges against seven people for allegedly abducting children, including newborns, and selling them.
It observed that trafficking in human beings is a multi-layered phenomena that can take different forms and occur in various industries.
"There common characteristic is the element of constraint, deceit, threat, fraud, coercion, etc. used with an aim to economically and/or sexually exploit one or other persons and besides that there are other, less widely known forms of trafficking," Additional Sessions Judge Anil Antil said.
Prima facie various offences, including trafficking and forgery, are made out against the seven accused, the court said, adding it cannot be said that sale and purchase of infants are out of the purview of the offence of trafficking. It said the seven accused abducted children from their guardians by fraud and were actively involved in trafficking.
"All the accused, who in connivance of their common intention, were knowingly or actively involved in the commission of offence of trafficking and for this purpose they abducted innocent babies from their lawful guardianship by playing fraud upon their parents/guardian," the judge said.
The court passed the order of framing charges against the seven people -- Mohd Jahangir, Rahul Baudh, Jyoti Baudh, Jitender Kumar, Mithla, Shakeela Khatoon and Kavita.
"Though it seems that the babies were taken from their parents with the consent but I must state that consent by playing fraud and based on false and misleading facts is no consent in the eyes of law in terms of Section 90 of the IPC," the judge said.
The Crime Branch of Delhi Police in February last year busted a child trafficking racket following a tip off and recovered a 10-day-old old baby from Jahangir's possession.
Officials had arrested Jahangir, along with the other co-accused, who during interrogation revealed about other cases of abduction. Later, police recovered some minors and cash worth Rs 43,500 from one of the accused persons.
The counsel for accused submitted in court that they cannot be framed for chid trafficking since consent of victim was mandatory to indicate that there was exploitation and therefore, the said provisions were not applicable to case of minors.
The counsel further contended that mere sale and purchase of infants cannot be termed as exploitation.