Skip to main content

On bail for 19 years, son born in jail works to raise bond for mother

By Peter Shadbolt, CNN
May 31, 2013 -- Updated 0219 GMT (1019 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • An Indian son finally secures the release of his mother who spent 19 years in jail on bail
  • The 19-year-old worked night and day in a garment factory to raise Rs5000 ($89)
  • The mother was sentenced to life in prison for murder but was released on bail pending an appeal
  • The High Court in Uttar Pradesh is now reviewing other bail cases in the state's prisons

(CNN) -- In a story that could step straight from the pages of a Charles Dickens novel, an Indian son has worked night and day in a garment factory to earn the bail money to get his mother out of jail.

This month, after ceaseless work stitching in the textile factory, Kanhaiya Kumari, 19, raised the 5,000 rupees (about $89) needed to pay his mother's surety.

His mother Vijaya Kumari, 48, was five months pregnant with Kanhaiya when she was arrested in 1993 in connection with the murder of a neighbor in India's Aligarh district, according to CNN affiliate IBN.

Sentenced to life in prison, she denied the charges and in 1994 she was granted bail pending her appeal, but her husband refused to post the Rs5,000 bail money.

"No one from my family or in-laws came to my help," she told CNN.

India's missing children
Hotels focus on traveling women
Acid attack victim: 'I had no hope'

Both mother and son remained in Nari Niketan prison in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, until Kanhaiya was sent to a juvenile remand home at the age of 6.

"I was very sad," Kanhaiya told CNN. "Without her, I had no one by me."

He was released last year after spending seven years separated from his mother and immediately set about getting a job that would pay for his mother's bail.

"He was out of work and couldn't make ends meet," said his employer AH Rehman. "He asked for a job that would provide him with some livelihood, so I got him a job in a ready-made garment shop."

Some 19 years after his mother was first jailed, Kanhaiya paid the bail money at Allahbad High Court and secured her release.

"I worked very, very hard to get the money for the release of my mother," he said. "I'm very happy now."

The case has prompted the High Court to take a closer look at the jails of Uttar Pradesh. The court has demanded a list of bailed inmates still languishing in jail.

India's courts are famously inefficient, with cases backed sometimes for decades. According to the Asian Human Rights Commission, confessions are the bedrock of India's criminal justice system making it notoriously difficult for courts to secure convictions.

The commission estimates the conviction rate for serious crimes is as low as 4 per cent of the cases that come before India's courts.

Indian acid attack victim fights for justice

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1439 GMT (2239 HKT)
Tethered to an IV drip, 71-year-old Shin Young Ja lies under a thin fleece blanket, nursing a broken back and wracked with survivor's guilt.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)
Family members of the missing passengers are pinning slim hopes on floundering air pockets.
April 17, 2014 -- Updated 1614 GMT (0014 HKT)
An Iranian mother slaps and then forgives her 17-year old son's murderer in dramatic scenes at the gallows.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
An "extraordinary" video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
April 14, 2014 -- Updated 1230 GMT (2030 HKT)
Explore each side's case, reconstructed from Pistorius' court affidavit and the prosecution's case during last year's bail hearing.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
Mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests or political reform are still censored in China.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 0934 GMT (1734 HKT)
The Hadza are one of the last communities of hunter-gatherers in the world -- but losing their land.
April 19, 2014 -- Updated 0122 GMT (0922 HKT)
In choosing to change a traditional practice, Francis is being as radical as Jesus was in his own time.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
Too weak. Can't handle pressure. Unattractive to sponsors. Susie Wolff has heard it all.
April 20, 2014 -- Updated 0249 GMT (1049 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1230 GMT (2030 HKT)
It's like finding a needle in a universe-wide haystack. Researchers have located a planet roughly the size of Earth that could be habitable.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 0940 GMT (1740 HKT)
Dubai, long champion of all things biggest, longest and most expensive, will soon have some competition from a neighboring country.
ADVERTISEMENT