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Allahabad HC raps Varanasi police over 4-year delay in tracing man

The Allahabad High Court has directed the Varanasi police to explain why it has been unable to trace a man, who has been missing for over four years  

The Allahabad High Court has directed the Varanasi police to explain why it has been unable to trace a man, who has been missing for over four years after a lower court directed him to pay maintenance to his wife after alleged domestic violence.

The court said the “pitiable predicament” of the woman, who was “grappling from pillar to post and getting hoodwinked by multifarious impediments,” was an “archetype illustration of the loopholes in way of our criminal justice system.”

The woman had filed a case under domestic violence against her husband and on November 4, 2016, a lower court had directed him to provide a separate living room to his wife and their daughter along with ₹1,000 as maintenance. The court passed another order saying that if the husband did not comply with the first order, the SHO of Sarnath shall have to ensure compliance.

The husband then approached the HC against the orders and on December 5, 2016 got an interim order ex-parte where both orders were stayed.

However, when the man was asked to be produced before the High Court, his counsel said he has been missing since April 9, 2017. A missing person FIR was also lodged on May 16, 2018, his counsel told the court. In March this year, DSP Varuna zone, Vikrant Vir, filed an affidavit before the HC saying that a police team constituted to trace the man was still searching for him.

Justice Manju Rani Chauhan in a recent order observed that the story made out in the police affidavit was “high improbable, which is nothing else but a scene of drama.”

“This Court is sorry to record that the affidavit filed on behalf of the District Police of Varanasi is too flimsy to be accepted by this Court,” Justice Chauhan said in an order dated September 8.

The court noted that it was brought to its knowledge that there were several such cases where maintenance had been awarded by courts were pending and even notices had not been served upon the parties due to which “women are suffering.”

Justice Chauhan directed Commissioner of Police Varanasi to file his personal affidavit on or before September 29 explaining why the man was not traceable and in how many days he would be traced. The CP and the district judge of Varanasi were also directed to inform the court of similar cases where maintenance was awarded by the courts but was not executed as summons had not been served till date.

The woman in this case submitted before court that she had disclosed to the police the whereabouts of her husband but that the police always reached the place after giving him time to flee.

“In today’s modern era, where the policemen have got all the facilities, yet the police is not able to find out a person, despite several orders of this Court. This creates a doubt in the mind of a common ordinary person. Either the police can say that they have not got full powers or facilities or they are not able to find out the person, who is missing since 9th April, 2017 and this case should be given to some other agency,” the judge said.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 6:42:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/allahabad-hc-raps-varanasi-police-over-4-year-delay-in-tracing-man/article36538121.ece

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