Bindoo Khalkor, a brothel keeper and the main accused in Prena’s* and Reema’s* case, filed an application for bail on 19th August. In recent months we have covered Prena’s and Reema’s stories separately.
The argument was held on the 25th of August, and we expected that bail would be denied to Bindoo as she is a repeat offender and because the Bombay High Court passed explicit orders to this effect in the Freedom Firm P.I.L.
On 28th September, the government public prosecutor, who is supposed to oppose bail, argued for the granting of bail by saying; “Bindoo has been in jail for two months already, I don’t think it’s necessary for her to be in jail any longer.” Bail was granted under ITPA (Immoral Traffick Prevention Act) and IPC (Indian Penal Code) sections.
Since the judicial magistrate didn’t have the authority to approve bail under the POCSO Act (The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences), the case was then forwarded to the district sessions court and the argument set for 5th October.
On the 5th, Freedom Firm staff and the police inspector involved in Bindoo Khalkor’s arrest argued strongly in opposition to Bindoo’s bail application. On 11th October, we received the good news that Bindoo’s bail application was denied and she has been returned to jail.
Now the only recourse left to Bindoo is to apply for bail in the High Court. In the meantime, we hope that Reema's parents will testify soon as the trial is being heard in Reema’s case (2014). If convicted, Bindoo will likely be sent to prison for a very long time.
*Names changed to protect identity