Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: The wife of a retired Civil Judge, Bangalore, has filed a heabes corpus petition before the Karnataka High Court seeking a direction to the police to trace and produce before the court her husband.

In her petition, S.P. Vanitha said her husband, Prakash Y. Shinde, a retired Judicial Officer of Karnataka, had been missing from home since August 16, 2004. She said Mr. Shinde, who was working as a Civil Judge, City Civil Court Complex, Bangalore, had taken retirement from judicial service in 2003.

Mrs. Vanitha claimed that her husband had earlier been married to S.P. Latha, who died in 1996. Latha and Shinde had two daughters. Mrs. Vanitha claimed that after she married Mr. Shinde on December 19, 1997, all of them were staying in Judicial Quarters, Koramangala, Bangalore, since then.

She said there was martial discord and she went back to her hometown, Hyderabad, in April 2003. She said when she later telephoned her husband's house in Bangalore, she was told that he moved to Belgaum with his daughters. Mrs. Vanitha claimed that she joined her husband at Belgaum and was with him for a month when fresh problems forced her to go back to Hyderabad. When she came back to reconcile with her husband, she was told by her step-daughters that their father had been missing from home since August 16, 2004. She said a missing complaint was lodged before the Nippani Town Police on October 11, 2004 by her eldest step-daughter.

She said though a complaint was lodged, the police had so far not been able to trace her husband.

She feared that her husband had been kidnapped or kept in wrongful confinement by some persons for monetary gain.

In its affidavit, the Nippani police said the Civil Judge had remained untraced despite their best efforts. They sought more time to trace Mr. Shinde.

A Division Bench, which heard the petition, adjourned further hearing on the case and directed State Public Prosecutor S. Dore Raju to file a status report on the progress of the investigation.