No HC relief for sisters detained in raid at Andheri eatery

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday refused to grant any relief to two sisters who claimed that they were illegally detained after the Mumbai Police’s Social Service Branch,led by Assistant Commissioner of Police Vasant Dhoble,raided a suburban restaurant.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: June 20, 2012 12:55 am

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday refused to grant any relief to two sisters who claimed that they were illegally detained after the Mumbai Police’s Social Service Branch (SSB),led by Assistant Commissioner of Police Vasant Dhoble,raided a suburban restaurant. “Unless the inquiry is completed,there is no question of release,” the court said.

The sisters were among the 11 women rounded up by the SSB after a raid at the Masala Curry in Andheri (W) on June 5. A magistrate court in Mazgaon sent them to the Mahila Sudhar Gruha in Chembur. The two sisters moved the High Court seeking damages of Rs 1 crore,stating that the alleged illegal detention had tarnished their reputation.

The sisters’ lawyer Anand Jondhale told the court that the women not being charged for entry into the restaurant did not prove prostitution. “It’s not even a bar or a pub,it’s an eatery where people only have food,” Jondhale told the court,adding that the SSB had infringed on their fundamental rights.

“But at what time? They went there at 1.50 am,” additional public prosecutor Usha Kejriwal said. Justice A M Khanwilkar remarked,“Fundamental rights are never suspended.”

The court,however,asked the petitioners why they termed the SSB’s action as illegal detention. “If the raid is made,an inquiry has to be made. Who is to ascertain if prostitution was going on or not?” the court said.

Kejriwal,however,said that after completing the inquiry,the magistrate is likely to give an order in the case on Wednesday. Disposing of the case,the court said that it cannot give a parallel hearing as the magistrate is likely to pass on order in the case. They added that the petitioners are free to challenge the magistrate’s order later.

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