Chennai, Feb 25 (SocialNews.XYZ) A court in Tamil Nadu has sent eight accused, including the owner of an illegally run mental asylum, to three-day custody of the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID), an official said on Saturday.
The owner of the centre -- Jubin Baby, 45, a native of Ernakulam in Kerala -- has been charged with multiple offences including rape and physically assaulting destitute and mentally ill individuals at the Anbu Jothi Ashram in Tamil Nadu's Villupuram, which does not have a valid license for operating the facility.
The Chief Judicial Magistrate court at Villupuram has granted three-day custody of Baby, his wife Mariam, and six others to the CB-CID of the police.
Announcing the order on Saturday, CJM M. Pushparani directed the CB-CID to present the accused persons before the court at 10 a.m. next Tuesday.
The prosecution has charged Baby, Mariam, and six others with illegal detention, torture, sexual assault, and suspected inter-state trafficking of residents of the ashram.
The police during a raid at the ashram found that many of the inmates were mentally ill and were tortured mercilessly.
The Tamil Nadu government had transferred the case to the CB-CID even as the opposition BJP and AIADMK have been calling for a CBI inquiry given the interstate connections in the case.
The ninth accused in the case was released on bail due to his old age and poor health.
The CB-CID had taken over the case from the local police on February 21 and filed a petition before the CJM court for three-day custody of the accused, which was granted on Saturday.
The matter drew attention after a probe was launched into the case of a missing man. A 70-year-old man admitted to the ashram was not found there when the relatives came calling.
The investigation revealed serious lapses on the part of the owners of the Anbu Jothi Ashram and torture and ill-treatment of the residents of the ashram.
It was also found that the centre was not functioning with a valid license while some undergoing treatment and rehab were also trafficked to other states.
The Madras High Court intervened in the matter and shifted 142 inmates of the ashram to a government-run hospital at Mundiampakkam in Villupuram. A case has been registered against the owners and workers for rape and harassment of women inmates of the ashram.
The Madras High Court has also sought an Action Taken Report which is to be filed by February 27.
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