Norway child abuse: Verdict today

Last Updated: Tue, Dec 04, 2012 02:48 hrs

Oslo: A Norway court on Monday deferred its verdict on the case of an Indian couple arrested here for alleged abuse of their seven-year-old son, till Tuesday.

Chandrashekar Vallabhaneni and his wife Anupama were arrested on charges of "gross repeated maltreatment" of their child. The prosecution has reportedly proposed a jail term of 15 and 18 months for the mother and father respectively.

Reports said in February, IT professional Chandrasekhar and his wife Anupama's son Sai Sriram told his teacher that his father had scolded him for bed-wetting and threatened to send him back to India.

Consequently, the school filed a complaint against the couple and the kids were sent to foster care by Norwegian authorities.

After six weeks of investigation, the child services gave the couple a clean chit and the children were reunited with the parents.

In November, Chandrashekhar was given a notice to appear at a local Norwegian court. After the hearing last Monday, the couple was arrested and sent to remand for five days.

The accused have refuted the allegations and their families have appealed to the government to intervene in the matter. But the Centre seems reluctant to intervene in what it sees essentially as a legal case, said a report.

"This is an issue that relates not to the government. It relates to a private citizen and to the local law of that country...Sometimes, we express concern about something that happens to the citizen of our country but within the parameters of the law as is applied by those countries...But of course there is public interest and concern. Our Mission will make contact and do whatever is appropriate and necessary," a report quoted External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid as saying.

However, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi has said the government could 'diplomatically' do something in connection to the matter.

Speaking to reporters, he said: "The government can diplomatically do something."

"That is a legal position but diplomatically we can try to influence the government," he said while reacting to Khurshid's comments on the issue.

Ravi said: "I hope the Ambassador must have done something."