The father of an 18-year-old woman, who went missing and was subsequently traced, has told the Delhi High Court that he had to bear the expenses of a Delhi Police team’s visits to Jaipur and Kolkata, and also host a party for police officers in Jaipur. The court has now ordered the transfer of the investigation from the local police station to the Crime Branch.
The woman was allegedly kidnapped by a man who threatened to leak her private photos, following which her father reported her missing on June 11. The GD (general diary) entry in the case was recorded on June 12 at Sonia Vihar police station, however, the same was omitted in a Delhi Police status report, court records show.
When there was no action from the police, the father filed a writ petition in court. The father alleged that only after filing this petition did the police act and send a team to Jaipur and Kolkata, from where his daughter was recovered and the accused arrested. Police invoked IPC sections 376, 366 and 365 in the case.
The father’s counsel, Sanjay Khanna, submitted to the court that the father “was made to bear all the expenses of the police party’s travel to, and stay at, Jaipur and Kolkata, and the petitioner was even made to host a party for the police personnel at Jaipur”.
SHO Sonia Vihar, who was present during the hearing, denied the allegations stating that the expenses were borne by the department.
A division bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar passed the order noting: “The aforesaid statement of learned counsel for the petitioner, if true, raises serious concerns about the functioning of the police force. It is clear to us that the SHO, Police Station, Sonia Vihar, and the IO concerned were absolutely indifferent to the complaint made by the petitioner since they did not even register a case on receipt of the petitioner’s complaint on 12.06.2020… The FIR was registered only on 20.06.2020 – after the advance copy of the writ petition was circulated by the petitioner to the respondents. There is no explanation as to why there was a delay of eight days in the matter of registration of the FIR and in the matter of conduct of investigation.”
The HC ordered that the IO to whom the case will be assigned shall have the internal examination of the victim conducted without any delay.
“Though the petitioner’s missing daughter has been located and returned to her parents, we are of the view that the investigation cannot be allowed to remain in the hands of the officers at Police Station Sonia Vihar. Accordingly, we transfer the investigation in this case to the Crime Branch forthwith,” the court said.
The court has also directed the Commissioner of Police to grant audience to the petitioner and his counsel, so they shall disclose the manner in which police allegedly misused its authority.
The court directed the petitioner and his counsel to “produce all the documents/bills to substantiate their claim that they expended amounts for the travel, lodging and boarding of the police party at Jaipur and Kolkata. The Commissioner of Police shall examine all the material, including by calling upon the SHO, PS Sonia Vihar, to produce proof of expenditure incurred by the Police Department for the said visits, and on that basis, if a case is made out of misuse of authority, take appropriate action against the IO/ SHO and all others concerned.”
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