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Vishnu Dayal Sharma v. State Of U.P. & Others - CRIMINAL MISC. WRIT PETITION No. 15630 of 2006  RD-AH 165 (3 January 2007)
Court No. 48
Criminal Misc. Writ Petition No. 15630 of 2006
Vishnu Dayal Sharma........................................................Petitioner
State of U.P. and others..................................................Respondents
Hon'ble Amar Saran, J.
Hon'ble R.N. Misra, J.
We have heard Sri Tejpal for the petitioner, the learned AGA for the State and have perused the petition. This is another case where a father, a retired postal employee has been knocking at the door of this Court unhappy with the inaction of the police in taking any steps to locate his son aged 17 years, missing since 22.2.2005. He is seeking a relief which in normal course should have been unhesitatingly given to him by the local police. He has been approaching the police and other authorities repeatedly since 24.2.2005.
We therefore direct the SSP Agra to take immediate steps for location of the missing boy, whether he has gone away himself or has been abducted, in which case it must register a criminal case and take strict action against the offenders. The S.H.O. police station Achnera, district Agra shall submit a report to this Court about the measures taken for recovering the missing/ abducted boy within 3 weeks.
In the wake of the horrendous Nidhari tragedy we note that the persons (and they are a large number looking to the number of writ petitions that are filed seeking this relief) who have the resources to come to the High Court are only the tip of the iceberg. There are so many poor and resourceless persons and persons who are not politically important (as they may not be constituting a vote bank because they happen to be disunited migrants from other states) who lack the wherewithal to approach the High Court and have been routinely visiting police stations when a little son or daughter or other near or dear one goes missing but are cruelly rebuffed by the police which is engaged in other important matters and does not want to inflate its crime record and unfortunately these persons lack the wealth to set the police machinery in motion in matters which it was the foremost duty of the police to investigate. Lack of sensitivity to the concerns of the poor and the general public and an attitude of apathy or positive harassment towards them and the obsession of the police only with serving political masters or the affluent is the root cause why the public has developed an antagonistic attitude towards it, and does not come forward to help the police even when it possesses any useful information and leads about a crime.
We therefore think that reports from the Principal Secretary (Home) and the Director General of Police, U.P. are needed spelling out the measures taken or proposed to be taken :
1. Directing the station officers of various police stations to forthwith register reports of missing or abducted children or girls, and not to turn away the informant on flimsy pleas that the boy or girl may have run away, or directing the informant to himself locate the missing child, and that only thereafter they would take action against the culprit. They must start investigation into the matter in right earnest, by visiting the place of disappearance of the child and taking all the measures needed for recovering the missing child and for punishing the abductor.
2. The aid of Radio, television and press media may be taken for publicizing information of the missing child and contact phone numbers of the police and the informant (if any) may be mentioned in the notice.
3. In case of failure of the local police to take action or to register an FIR, the aggrieved person should have easy access to the S.S.P./ SP or C.O. who should see that serious action is taken on such a complaint. Notice boards should be put up and Public relations officers should be posted at the S.S.P/ S.P/ C.O.'s offices and in large police stations for noting down complaints of the aggrieved or for producing them before the concerned officers, and for ensuring necessary action. The said public relations officers should be instructed to be especially sensitive and accessible to the resourceless poor and marginalized, rather than the politically well connected or the rich, who in any case have a slightly better access to justice.
4. The District judges of all districts may issue directions to the legal aid committees to ensure that lawyers providing legal aid are present at S.S.P./S.P./C.O.'s offices to help such indigent and resourceless persons who approach these offices.
5. Specials Cells must be constituted in each district to pool the information of cases of abductions/ missing children where informations of all such children may be collated, which mentions particulars of the abductee, age, sex, date of abduction, particulars and contact location of informant, steps taken for locating the missing/abducted child, action taken against the kidnapper (in cases where the child has not himself run away). Collation of such information may assist in delineating whether the abduction or missing of the child is an isolated, individual act or in the case of repeated abductions from neighbouring areas within a police station or adjoining police stations suggests that a serial killer/ kidnapper or a local or inter-state gang of such kidnappers may be operating, the reason for such serial crimes and appropriate strategies may be devised accordingly.
6. On the next date of listing the Director General Police is directed to also furnish information to this Court on the information given and registration of cases in different police stations on the number of children who are presently missing, and the dates of reports, with separate categorization for cases of children up to 5 years, 5 to 10 years, and 10 to 18 years, and the measures taken for location of the children and for investigation of the cases.
List this case for further orders on 6.2.07. Copy of the order may be furnished to learned AGA within 48 hours for appropriate action.
Registrar General is also directed to take necessary follow up action on the aforesaid directions.
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