Delhi: Despite charge-sheeted without arrest, lack of legal awareness ‘sends’ woman to two months in jail

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Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  At a time when thousands of prisoners have been released on parole because of the surge in Covid-19 cases, a 23-year-old woman and her one and half year old daughter had to spent two months in Tihar due to lack of knowledge, legal support and awareness.

Ragini, a resident of Narela in Outer Delhi is uneducated and works as a daily wager. Due to lack of sound legal advice, she had to spend two months in jail despite being charge-sheeted without arrest.

She was finally granted bail after her new advocate approached the Delhi High Court.   

According to her advocate Pradeep Khatri, “On June 14th last year, a 14-year-old girl went missing from Narela area. During the investigation, the police found that she had eloped to Punjab with one Brajesh. The police filed a POSCO case and arrested the accused.” 

“The victim and Ragini are neighbours while the accused was Ragini’s relative. During the investigation, Ragini was implicated in the case by the girl’s family in collusion with the local police. She was charge-sheeted without arrest. However, due to unavoidable reasons and lack of cooperation from her previous counsel, Ragini was taken into custody. On February 23rd, she was directed to move for a regular bail by next hearing on March 22 by the Rohini Court,” Khatri added. 

“However, Ragini did not have any legal knowledge or support. She did not move for bail despite directions from the court and was not informed by her counsel about the bail. She was arrested from the court itself on March 23,” said the advocate. 

Ragini’s daughter is still breastfeeding. So, she had to spend two months time in jail with her daughter.

“Due to lack of legal knowledge as well as support and advice from my previous lawyer, I had to spend two months in jail with my child. It was harrowing and I never want to experience go through this again,” Ragini said.

Her husband approached advocate Khatri for help.

“I took this as a Pro Bono case and moved to the high court. Ragini was released on bail on May 28.” 

“Due to lack of legal awareness and proper guidance from their counsel many innocent people  go behind the bars. We need to generate awareness about Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) which provides free legal aid to people among the public,” Khatri said.



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