Bombay High Court Asks Father To Hand Over Kidnapped Daughter To Mother

Bombay High Court Asks Father To Hand Over Kidnapped Daughter To Mother

Mother’s plea contended that police failed to lodge her complaint against husband on two occasions

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Wednesday, March 20, 2024, 11:35 PM IST
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Bombay High Court | File pic

Coming down heavily on the police for failing to take a mother’s complaint seriously over threat to her and children from her estranged husband, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the police to provide her round-the-clock protection while directing the husband to hand over their four-year-old daughter’s custody, whom he kidnapped on March 5.

The court was hearing a habeas corpus (produce person in court) petition filed by the woman alleging that her estranged husband kidnapped their minor daughter. The plea, filed through advocate Ajit Kenjale, alleged that the woman had tried to lodge a complaint on two earlier occasions, but the police turned her away saying that the marital dispute was civil in nature.

As per court’s earlier direction, the husband had produced the daughter in court on Wednesday. The court directed him to hand over the daughter’s custody to the mother “in the precincts of the Court immediately”.

The court also directed the police commissioner (CP) to provide police protection, comprising one armed male and one female constable, at the state’s cost.

“Taking into consideration the allegations and crimes registered against the Respondent No 2 (husband) in their present family disputes, we expect from the police authority that, hereinafter no threat to the life or limb or physical assault to the petitioner shall take place and the police authority is bound to protect the petitioner in that behalf,” a bench of Justices Ajey Gadkari and Shyam Chandak said.

It also asked the deputy commissioner of police, Zone 1, to look at the case papers and “point out if there has been any deliberate lapse in the investigation” and bring it to the CP’s notice.

The couple married and soon after the husband and her in-laws allegedly started harassing her. However, she continued staying with her husband hoping that he would improve, her plea said. They have two children, a son, seven, and daughter, four.

However, the situation turned worse after he married another woman. As his behaviour worsened, she was forced to move to her parents’ house in Nayanagar in Bhayander, the plea contended.

On March 5, the plea stated that a man knocked on the door on the pretext of delivering a cake. When she opened the door, her husband and a few other men barged into the house and kidnapped the daughter. He also allegedly stole Rs1.8 lakh cash and jewellery.

Following her petition, the HC had called for a report from the commissioner of Mira-Bhayander. The report, submitted on Wednesday, stated that the additional actions of kidnapping and house trespassing along with other relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code. Also, it stated that the investigation has been transferred to the Senior Police Inspector of Nayanagar Police Station.

The HC has kept the matter for hearing in March 28.

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