A Norway court on Tuesday sentenced Chandrasekhar Vallabhaneni to 18 months and his wife Anupama to 15 months in prison. The Indian couple who were living in Norway were arrested on charges of "gross or repeated maltreatment" of their child.
The children will remain in India with their grandparents. The family of the couple said that they will appeal to a higher court.
"They are facing child abuse case and are charged with gross or repeated maltreatment of their child/children by threats, violence or other wrong, under section 219," Kurt Lir, Head of Prosecution, Oslo Police Department had said on Monday.
He said, "there were burn marks and scars on the body of the child, who has also been beaten by the belt".
Asked why the police arrested the couple — Chandrasekhar, a software professional from Andhra Pradesh, and Anupama before the sentencing, Lir said, it is feared that they will evade prosecution by returning to India.
"Under three circumstances, ie, if we are concerned about (tampering) of the evidence or we fear they may leave the country or they might do it again, we make arrests before the sentencing,” he said.
On whether the police department came across such cases often, he said, "yes, it is quite often. And not only foreigners but Norwegians are also involved in such cases".
Anupama’s lawyer Marte Brotrome said it was wrong to keep the Indian couple in prison in Norway.
"If the court sentences them, we will appeal against it,” she had said.
"They didn’t hurt their children…They had some difficulties in handling the boy but they didn’t hurt him and they didn’t mean to do anything wrong. They tried to get help but they did not get any help," the lawyer had said.
The police arrested Chandrasekhar, nine months after the child complained to his school teachers that his parents were threatening to send him back to India for his acts. India has already indicated that it will not intervene in the legal process of that country.
"This is an issue that relates not to the government. It relates to a private citizen and to the local law of that country," External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid had said.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Dec 04, 2012 16:06:00 IST