The Madhya Pradesh High Court has observed that substantial public funds had been spent for the recovery of corpus owing to suppression of facts by the petitioner and dismissed the habeas corpus plea with a cost of Rs 10,000 on the petitioner.
The petitioner approached the High Court seeking a writ of habeas corpus inter alia alleging that his daughter (corpus) was missing since May 2022. A missing person report was lodged. Despite that, the corpus was not recovered.
It was also alleged that the last phone call received from the missing corpus on the same day in the afternoon stating that she was abducted by three unknown persons, who thereafter abused her, left her abandoned on the road and therefore, she did not want to come home.
Thereafter, despite representation being made to the Collector, Morena and Superintendent of Police Morena, no steps were taken to recover the corpus. The Court took strong exception to alleged inaction on the part of the Morena Police.
In the backdrop of the aforesaid submissions, the High Court passed an order on 10/08/2022 expressing its displeasure in the aforesaid context.
Ankur Mody, Additional Advocate General, while referring to the status report containing the statement of the missing corpus before the Magistrate under Section 164 of CrPC and other documents, submitted that the Morena Police was not apprised of the real factual background of the case. In fact, the Morena Police extensively investigated the matter and after tracing the call details of the mobile number of the missing corpus of last more than one year, found that she was in touch with a person living in Jammu.
From this tip, Morena Police went to Jammu where the person was located. He divulged the fact that corpus was working in a boutique in Jammu where she was recovered.
The Division Bench of Justice Rohit Arya and Justice Milind Ramesh Phadke appreciated the efforts made by the SP Morena and the team constituted in the matter of recovery of the missing corpus and complimented the sincere efforts made by them on that behalf. The Court also observed that appreciation recorded by the High Court shall be placed in the service record of SP Morena under whose able guidance, the investigating team secured the missing corpus and also in the service record of each of the officials forming the investigating team.
The corpus submitted in the open Court that she had made a wrong statement to her parents on mobile phone about her abduction and abuse by unknown persons. On the contrary, she stated that she didn’t like the hostile behaviour and demeanour of her family members towards her therefore, she wanted to get rid of them. Under such circumstances, she fled from home and boarded a train having last destination at Jammu. Now she is working in a boutique in Jammu where she has been brought back by the Morena Police by air to Delhi and from Delhi to Morena by train.
The corpus further stated that she is 24 years of age and doing masters in Mathematics. She further states that she does not want to live with her parents instead she would prefer to stay at One Stop Center.
Therefore the Court directed the Sub Inspector, Morena to escort the corpus and leave her at One Stop Center, Morena where she shall be kept till her parents come and meet her. The petitioner/ father of the corpus is free to meet her at One Stop Center either individually or with his wife/ family. The Superintendent of One Stop Center shall facilitate the meeting within the aforesaid period and the meeting shall be recorded on video camera. Thereafter, Superintendent of One Stop Center shall set the corpus free to go wherever she wishes to, the Court further directed.
“Substantial public fund has been spent in the matter of recovery of corpus from Jammu to Delhi by flight and train by the Morena Police owing to suppression of facts by the petitioner. This petition therefore deserves to be and is hereby dismissed with a cost of Rs 10,000 to the deposited by the petitioner in the Office of Superintendent of Police, Morena within 15 working days from today,” the order reads.