A 50-year-old woman, arrested for allegedly assaulting and illegally confining a maid in her house here, was on Monday denied bail by a Delhi court which said a legislation for regulating placement agencies through which domestic help is recruited is "much needed".
Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha dismissed the bail plea of accused Vandana Dhir and said it seems she is "suffering from some kind of a personality disorder" and the facts of the case demonstrate "very sick and problematic mental state of the accused."
The court directed the jail authorities to provide "psycho analysis therapy and counselling" to Dhir, who is at present in judicial custody.
Dhir and placement agent Dorothy have been arrested in connection with the case lodged under various sections of the IPC, the Bonded Labour Act, the SC/ST Act and under the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (care and protection of children) Act.
Both are at present in judicial custody.
While denying bail to Dhir, the magistrate observed, "The placement agencies existing today have become havens of exploitation and are unable to ensure the well being of the work force employed through them and many of these young boys and girls become the subject of physical and sexual abuse.
"...To bring about a positive change so that such incidents do not recur and also to protect basic human right of this large but marginalised and exploited work force, a legislation is much needed requiring mandatory registration of placement agencies, payment of minimum wages to workers, decent living conditions and diet, security and protection against physical or sexual abuse or exploitation."
The court also directed that the copy of its order be sent to Secretary, Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India and also to the Secretary of Department of Law, Justice and Legal Affairs of Delhi government for consideration. The magistrate, in her order, also observed that the legislation should ensure that no minors are employed as domestic maids.
"Thus, rather than curbing such employment opportunities altogether, these is a dire necessity of a legislation regulating functioning of these placement agencies and of an institutionalised system protecting the interests of both the employers