Procedure needed to look into complaints of missing persons: HC

‘Failure to adhere to the procedure should result in disciplinary action against the police officers concerned’

February 11, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:43 am IST - Bengaluru:

There should be a standard procedure for police to probe complaints of missing persons, and failure to adhere to the procedure should result in disciplinary action against the police officers concerned, observed the High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice Ram Mohan Reddy made these observations during the hearing of a public interest litigation(PIL) petition, filed by the High Court’s Legal Services Committee, and Justice and Care, a non-profit company, which complained of increase in trafficking of children and women owing to lack of effective implementation of laws.

The Bench also suggested that information technology tools be used effectively to deal with such complaints.

Earlier, advocate B.V. Vidyulatha, appearing for the petitioner, contended that in many instances, the police refused to register a first information report (FIR) based on complaints about missing persons.

It has been pointed in the petition that as per the National Crime Records Bureau, Karnataka, with 412 cases, ranked fourth in terms of number of cases registered under human trafficking, behind West Bengal (669 cases), Tamil Nadu (549) and Andhra Pradesh (541).

Pointing out that as per the police data, 11,969 missing cases were reported in the last one year (November 2013 to November 2014) in the State, it has been claimed in the petition that the number of missing persons is on the rise and this is a grave cause of concern as the ratio of missing person cases is directly proportional to the incidence of human trafficking in a society.

“It has been reported that in the period between 2010 and 2012, nearly 3,234 women and children have been victims of trafficking in the State,” the petition stated.

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