The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to consider a contempt plea against the Delhi Police Commissioner over the delay in lodging an FIR in the rape a five-year-old girl in East Delhi.
Senior advocate H S Phoolka,appearing for NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan,mentioned the matter before a bench led by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir,who directed that the matter be listed for hearing on Monday.
Phoolka said the Delhi Police was in contempt of the court in the present case,in which its officials refused to lodge the FIR at the first instance when the parents of the minor approached them with a missing complaint. He accused the department of deliberately defying the courts order to promptly lodge cases whenever complaints relating to missing children are received.
Had there been a compliance with the court order,such an unfortunate incident could have been averted. The girl was found four days later from a neighbours house, Phoolka told the court.
The plea sought initiation of contempt proceedings against Delhi Police chief Neeraj Kumar,Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Prabhakar and other officers of Gandhi Nagar police station alleging that they deliberately violated the law and an order of the apex court.
On January 17,the Supreme Court had directed that police must register FIR and conduct probe in every case of missing child and a unit of specially trained police personnel be formed in each district to handle cases relating to juveniles.
The court had also said appropriate steps must be taken to see that follow-up investigation is taken up immediately after the FIR is lodged.
Citing statistics that 77 children have gone missing in Gandhi Nagar area between January 1 and April 20 this year,the petition alleged that the inaction of police shows their non-seriousness about the issue.
Of these 77,51 are girls. In Delhi,628 children have gone missing in the same period. Despite a rise in the number of kidnapping cases,police continue to be unresponsive towards protecting children, it said.
The petitioner also sought the courts intervention for an appropriate direction to police to formulate a national plan to tackle the issue of missing children and also to define the term missing children,which has not been defined so far in any statute.