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Delhi HC tells Crime Branch to trace woman who ‘eloped’ with Muslim man to Kolkata

“At this stage, we cannot accept the statements attributed to her as her voluntary statements. To satisfy our conscience, we would like that she be produced before us,” the bench said.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | December 23, 2020 7:21:44 am
Right to Information, RTI law, Delhi HC, Delhi HC on RTI applicant, delhi news, Indian expressDelhi High Court. (File)

THE DELHI High Court has directed the crime branch to register an FIR and ordered them to make “all-out efforts” to produce before it a woman who purportedly eloped with a Muslim man to Kolkata and is stated to have married him.

While hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by the woman’s father claiming that she was taken away “in an organised manner” to Kolkata on November 7, the HC bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rajnish Bhatnagar addressed the police submission that she had married the man on January 4 and did not wish to be “disturbed”.

“At this stage, we cannot accept the statements attributed to her as her voluntary statements. To satisfy our conscience, we would like that she be produced before us,” the bench said.

It also expressed shock that the police has not registered an FIR in the case and instead, has proceeded on “the bald statement” produced before them regarding her marriage.

The court further said that if the woman is traced, she be brought to Delhi and kept at Nari Niketan (women’s shelter) at least for four days before the next date of hearing “so that she is not under influence of either the petitioner (her father), or the persons with whom she is stated to have eloped and gone”.

In his petition, the father of the woman has said she is a B.Tech graduate whereas the person with whom she is claimed to have eloped is a labourer.

The Delhi Police, in a status report, had told the court that the woman has married the man and informed her family members that she does not wish to be disturbed. It also told the court that a Nikahnama (proof of marriage) has been produced to show they had married.

“On our query, he (SHO, Naraina) states that the said Nikahnama could not be verified despite efforts. We are shocked that even in this background, he did not think it proper to register an FIR and proceeded on the bald statement produced before him, wherein it is claimed that (the woman) has married (the man). This is complete dereliction of duty on the part of the SHO concerned,” the court said in its order on December 18.

While transferring the investigation to the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU), the court asked it to forthwith register an FIR. “Further, status report be filed under the signatures of the DCP concerned,” said the court.

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