Mumbai: Infant snatched for greed of money, says court; denies bail to child-lifter

A sessions court in Dindoshi in the previous month-end rejected the bail application of an auto driver accused of lifting a four-month-old infant from a woman sleeping on the footpath and fleeing away in his vehicle. The child was later found trafficked to Hyderabad and sold to a couple for money.

The court observed in its order denying the 42-year-old bail, that this is not the case of abduction of a major, but where a four-month-old child is snatched away from his sleeping mother, trafficked to Hyderabad absolutely for illegal purpose and under the greed of money, not caring for the emotions of the mother. Thus, it said, the offence is serious in nature and that the punishment can extend upto life imprisonment in the case of a minor.

The Juhu police station, where the case was lodged by the woman, traced the auto driver Ramesh Vempati. It found he had given the child to an accomplice Mahesh who had taken the infant to Hyderabad, where the male child was sold to one Dr. Mohammad Bashiruddin, who had sold the child inturn to an unsuspecting couple that wanted to adopt a child, telling them that he got the child from an institution. They paid him Rs. 4 lakhs for the infant.

Additional Sessions Judge DD Khoche also considered that one of the eye-witnesses is also a footpath dweller and that the accused can tamper with him if released on bail. This witness had seen someone stop his auto near the sleeping woman, pick something and flee in his vehicle. He had also identified the accused in a test identification parade.

It noted that another witness in the case, who is acquainted with Vempati, is also an auto driver and tea vendor. This man had seen him feed the infant with a bottle along with the co-accused.

Vempati’s advocate had argued for his bail claiming that the infant’s four-year-old sister had told the police in her statement that she had seen a woman lift her brother. He had also sought parity with a co-accused Dr. Bashiruddin, who had been granted bail by the court.

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