A 20-year-old in India has appealed the Supreme Court to cancel the bail given to his father and step mother who physically abused him so badly that he was left with deformities.
In 2012, the victim’s father, former army major Lalit Balhara and his stepmother Preeti Balhara were sentenced to 10 years in jail by a Delhi court for torturing and trying to kill him.
At the time of the sentencing, the victim was 13 years old. He is Lalit’s son from his first wife.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 60,000 (Dh3,000) each on Lalit and his second wife after holding them guilty of battering the minor boy and trying to kill him after the victim's mother, herself an Indian army captain who had died in 2000, according to a report by news magazine India Today's website.
The victim's lawyer Ravinder S Garia had demanded the harshest possible punishment for the accused stating that the victim suffered permanent injuries and has been left with ‘battered baby syndrome' for the rest of his life.
The child was initially produced before the court on February 20, 2005. Witnessing his physical and mental condition, the court ordered to obtain a medical report. The officer and his wife were also sent for psychiatric consultation at a hospital in Delhi, according to the India Today report.
The medical evaluation reportedly stated that the "parents were unable to explain as to why the child sustained injuries and concluded that the minor boy was suffering from a battered baby syndrome”.
The battered baby syndrome is a clinical condition in young children who have received serious physical abuse, is a frequent cause of permanent injury or death.
After going through the reports, a division bench of the High Court on February 28, 2005 had handed over the child's custody to his maternal grandfather, saying "investigation is needed to ascertain the manner in which injuries have been caused."
During the trial, the boy had spoken out against his parents and admitted that he was repeatedly tortured and locked up in a room without food.
The abuse included hitting the child with a stick and if he would cry, the stick was inserted in his mouth due to which some of his teeth were broken, the victim had reportedly said.
The couple denied the allegations and claimed that the child was special by birth and suffered injuries due to falling often. However, the medical examination determined that was untrue.
In 2009, the Delhi police had filed a complaint against the couple for attempted murder, four years after the Delhi High Court ordered a probe into the case, before the couple finally getting sentenced in 2012.
Accused receive bail
In 2016, the couple was given bail by the High Court in on medical grounds, and were also allowed to travel abroad.
Unhappy with the High Court’s decision, the 20-year-old has urged the Supreme Court through his counsel for father’s bail to be cancelled immediately.
The apex court bench of Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice R Subhash Reddy have issued notice to the Delhi Police and the man’s father, seeking to know why bail should not be cancelled, according to a report by the Indian Express newspaper.