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Indian nun fined for abusing girl over stolen money

A court fined a 70-year-old nun for burning a 7-year-old girl with a heated knife while questioning her about missing cash.

Sr Francesca of the Missionaries of Charity, the congregation founded by Mother Teresa, was ordered Saturday to pay $A53 for burning Karabi Mondal, who still lives at a child welfare centre run by the congregation, court officials said on condition of anonymity. The fine was paid.

Sr Francesca, who is in charge of the centre, has said she regretted burning the girl in September last year while asking her about $A19 that was missing. She said she was trying to "cure" her of the habit of stealing.

Karabi Mondal's burns weren't severe.

The Missionaries of Charity said they regretted the incident, and the order's Superior General Sr Nirmala voluntarily appeared in court to apologise.

"The sister admits her guilt with great sorrow. Her intention was to correct the children for stealing some money, but she definitely overstepped her limits," Sr Nirmala, who took over as head of the order after Mother Teresa's death in 1997, had said in a statement in September.

The case went to court after Kabiram Mondal, father of Karabi, lodged a complaint with police. Sister Francesca was charged with torturing the child, to which she pleaded guilty. Judge Partha Mukherjee later granted bail to the nun.