Delhi High Court has directed the city police to set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to locate and produce a 12-year-old missing girl whose parents apprehend that their daughter is in illegal custody or has been trafficked to someone in India or abroad.
A bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Mini Pushkarna said the child shall be produced before the court expeditiously.
The high court also transferred investigation of the case to the Anti Human Trafficking Unit (Crime Branch) of Delhi Police, to be supervised by the Deputy Commissioner of Police concerned.
”…We consider it appropriate to transfer the investigation regarding the disappearance of… (girl), the 12-year-old daughter of the petitioner, to the Anti Human Trafficking Unit (Crime Branch), to be supervised by the DCP concerned. ”The DCP concerned is directed to set up an SIT to locate, recover and produce the missing child before this court expeditiously…,” the bench said in its March 22 order.
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The court listed the matter for further hearing on April 4.
The court was hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by the girl’s parents, who used to live in Nepal.
A habeas corpus petition is filed for producing before a court a person who is in illegal custody or in unlawful detention.
In the plea, the parents claimed that they used to live in Nepal in a woman’s house that was frequently visited by her sister-in-law. The sister-in-law asked them to send their daughter with her to Delhi for her proper upbringing and studies and the couple were convinced.
However, the plea said the girl went missing from her caretaker’s home in Shaheen Bagh here last August.
It said the sister-in-law’s husband had filed a complaint with Delhi Police, levelling theft allegations against the girl. When her parents tried to reach out to the man, he stated that they would get their daughter but after four-five years.
”The petitioners are living under great fear of their daughter’s life who is missing. The petitioners are under the belief that their daughter has been trafficked to someone in India or abroad by respondent 2 and 3 (sister-in-law and her husband) or is in their illegal custody… ”The investigation may also be monitored by this court to see whether it is an isolated incident or a racket is working in Delhi,” the petition said.