Saturday, December 2, 2023

Gorakhpur missing girl case: Supreme Court transfers probe to Delhi Police

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday transferred the investigation in case of abduction of a minor girl from Gorakhpur to Malviya Nagar Police Station, Delhi and directed the Additional Advocate General of Uttar Pradesh to handover the original records of case proceedings to Delhi Police.

AAG Vinod Diwakar raised no objection with respect to the transfer of probe.

Amit Pai, Counsel of Neelam Kanoji, apprised the court that the girl is in custody of Gorakhpur Police and refusing to go with her mother.  The minor is currently residing in a child home. The Bench asked the ASG that any expert can comment that why she doesn’t want to go with her mother. Let Delhi Police Investigate. 

ASG Rupinder Singh Suri for Delhi Police contended that with respect to minor’s age assimilation, AIIMS Delhi had referred her to forensic department to conduct forensic examination. 

Justice Khanwilkar asked ASG, representing Delhi Police that what do you suggest as an officer of the court? What remedies do you put forth?

Amit Pai, representing Neelam Kanoji stated to the Bench that the pregnancy report of minor suggests that she is pregnant and is of 13 years old according to her school certificate and Aadhar card , however the records of police depicts her age to be 16 years old.  

Amit Pai, counsel for Neelam Kanoji said –“Let Delhi Police investigate in the best possible way”.

Bench expressed the concern that something  needs to be done in the present case. 

Advocate Swarupma also appeared for Delhi Police. 

The Supreme Court directed the Delhi Police to make sure that minor girl should be safeguarded at all cost.

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The Supreme court also appointed Senior Advocate K V Vishwanathan to assist and represent the after observing the fact that she was not provided with legal assistance.

The Supreme Court was informed by the Delhi Police that the 13-year-old missing girl who was allegedly abducted from Gorakhpur has been traced to Kolkata yesterday and her abductor has been arrested. The Court was informed by Additional Solicitor General Rupinder Singh Suri, who appeared on behalf of the Delhi Police, that the minor girl is in the safe custody of Delhi Police.

The Court directed Delhi Police for follow-up action and to collect the necessary evidence including medical report, if any. Further, the Delhi Police was to hand over the minor girl to her mother, the petitioner, upon being brought to Delhi. The three-judge bench of Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice C.T. Ravikumar directed a compliance report to be submitted by Delhi Police before the next date of hearing on Tuesday, September 7.

During the course of hearing, ASG Rupinder Singh Puri submitted that pursuant to lordships’ intervention day before yesterday, the Uttar Pradesh Police had handed over the papers and the special team formed by the Delhi Police had gone to Kolkata and arrested the accused and recovered the girl.

SC expresses concern about lackadaisical approach of Uttar Pradesh Police in tracing the missing girl

Justice Khanwilkar remarked that this is “certainly a reflection on the Uttar Pradesh Police” for the duties which they could not do in two months and had further sought time.

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Vinod Diwakar, Additional AG for the state of Uttar Pradesh, apologized, to which the Bench said that “you owe responsibility to the Court” and should not have made the submission seeking more time.

Amit Pai, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that the court may direct a psychological evaluation of the girl, to which the Court said that the Delhi Police will take necessary steps. He further asked for directions in these kind of cases. Justice Roy remarked, “Police is supposed to rescue victims.”

The ASG also submitted that the main anxiety was that Kolkata is a hub of trafficking. Diwakar asked the Court to pass directions as to who will do further investigation in the matter. The Bench said the compliance report would be submitted first. In the meantime, let the Delhi Police do its job.  

Earlier on September 1, the Supreme Court directed Gorakhpur Police to forward all investigation records to Malviya Nagar Police Station by the next day and the matter was listed for Friday

It was directed that the Delhi Police Commissioner shall direct further investigation if necessary for tracing the missing children. The copy of the order was directed to be forwarded to the Commissioner. The Bench further held that this direction shall not absolve the Uttar Pradesh police for continuing with the investigation and that it shall extend cooperation with the Delhi Police.

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The habeas corpus petition has been filed on behalf of the petitioner, a mother of a missing girl who has allegedly been kidnapped.

A 13-year-old girl missing from Gorakhpur since July 8

The petitioner, a household worker, has approached the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution seeking a writ of Habeas Corpus in respect of her minor daughter aged 13 years who has been missing since July 8, 2021. It is alleged that she has been kidnapped.

The petition sough directions to the respondents, i.e.Gorakhpur Police and the Delhi Police to trace the minor daughter of the petitioner. The matter requires immediate and in depth investigation to unearth the exact location and status of safety and security of the petitioner’s minor daughter.

The petition stated that the incident involves two states of Uttar Pradesh and NCT, Delhi. It is alleged that the minor girl has been kidnapped by a person named Aakash from Gorakhpur. In this regard, the FIR was lodged with Gorakhpur Police and despite attempts, the Delhi Police has not taken any action.

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