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Goa: Slain British teen's mother in dock?
Rupesh Samant in Panaji | March 15, 2008 18:59 IST
If slain British girl Scarlette Eden Keeling's mother Fiona Mackeown is charged and convicted under a provision of Goa [Images] Children's Act for "neglecting" her minor daughter, she faces upto three years in jail or a fine of Rs 1 lakh.
Section 8 (1) of Goa Children's Act, 2003, reads: "All children should be assured of safe environment. A safe environment is an environment in which he or she will not be abused in any way and his/her development will be nurtured."
It treats the act of neglecting a child on par with sexual abuse of the child, which attracts a three-year jail term or/and a fine of Rs 1 lakh.
Fiona is in the dock for allegedly leaving minor Scarlette in custody of her 21-year-old boyfriend Julio Lobo.
Fiona's lawyer Vikram Varma has, however, has refuted the allegation, saying she had left Scarlette in the custody of Julio's two aged aunts.
Since the inception of this law dealing with crime against a juvenile in Goa five years ago, not a single case has been filed under Section 8(1).
Goa police have, however, rubbished media reports that the victim's mother would be charged under the act for allegedly neglecting her 15-year-old daughter, found dead on Anjuna beach on February 18 after being drugged and raped.
"We are not thinking on those lines," North Goa Superintendent of Police Bosco George told PTI on Saturday.
Goa, which has gained notoriety for paedophilia, has used this act in a few cases, but it has not yet invoked Section 8 (1).