HC raps cops for delay in missing child case

Court told boy was killed on day he went missing.

Mumbai : Expressing shock over the approach of the Anti-Human Traffic Cell, Thane, in investigating a missing child’s case, the Bombay High Court recently came down heavily on the probe agency. This comes after the high court was informed the missing child was no more and had been killed on the day he went missing.

A division bench of Justices Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari and Bharati Dangre was hearing a writ of habeas corpus filed by Mohammed Asif.

In his plea, Asif claimed that his eight-year-old son, who was residing with him in Mumbai, and not with his estranged wife in Mumbra, had gone missing. He claimed that his estranged wife could have been behind his son’s sudden disappearance.

Asif had filed a complaint with the Anti-Human Traffic Cell, Thane. However there was no progress in the case. He then petitioned the bench of Justice Dharmadhikari, seeking directions against the investigators.

The matter was heard from time-to-time and the bench had passed orders directing the investigators to probe the matter from all possible angles.

However, on the last date of hearing, the bench was informed, the missing child had died.

“The Anti-Human Traffic Cell, Thane informs us today that the child is no longer alive. He was killed on the very day, namely, the day he went missing. If this was indeed the position, then, we are surprised and shocked as to how this revelation comes after several months of pendent of this petition and various orders passed by this court,” Justice Dharmadhikari said.

The bench asked the police to file an affidavit setting out the details of this crime. “Explain who have been implicated therein and named as accused, whether arrests have been effected and whether a chargesheet has been filed in a competent criminal court,” the bench ordered.

The bench noted the fact that the child was residing in Mumbai and went first to Mumbra and then went missing from there.

“We would not hesitate to issue such directions as are necessary in the interest of justice for we find that could be several gangs operating targeting such vulnerable children. The children may

have been exploited by now and are part and parcel of the crime module. Let there be no casualties further,” Justice Dharmadhikari said while asking the highest officials of Maharashtra Police to file an affidavit on these lines.



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