New Delhi, April 27 (IANS) NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan has moved the Supreme Court seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against the Delhi Police for disregarding apex court’s direction and not registering an FIR after the five-year-old girl who was brutally raped went missing and for failing to take prompt steps to trace her.
The court is likely to hear the plea on Monday April 29.
Bachpan Bachao Andolan, in its petition, has said that failure of Delhi Police to register an FIR and take prompt action even after belatedly registering the complaint was a breach of the apex court’s Jan 17 direction. It also noted the subsequent attempts by police to hush up the case by offering bribe to the parents.
Chief Justice Altamas Kabir Jan 17 had directed that in “case a complaint with regard to any missing children is made in a police station, the same should be reduced into a first information report (FIR) and appropriate steps should be taken to see that follow up investigation is taken up immediately thereafter.”
Mocking the Delhi government’s claim that Delhi police “accords upper most priority to cases of children reported missing and handled with necessary care and attention”, the NGO’s petition said that had Delhi Police been vigilant and acted with promptness, “the gruesome incident of rape of the five-year-old girl in Gandhi Nagar could have been averted”.
Recalling the sequence of the incident, the NGO that soon after the girl went missing, her parents immediately reported the matter but police, “working in its usual lackadaisical way”, did not register the case for several hours.
Even when the complaint was registered, police did not take steps for tracing the girl. “Concerned investigating officer did not even come to make any inquiries and check the scene of the crime and the building from where the girl was kidnapped.”
The petition said that if a preliminary inquiry had been made at the place of the incident including from the neighbours, the minor child could have been traced and tragedy averted as she was locked in a room of the same building.
Citing the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights’ report, the contempt petition said: “There was significant delay and apathy on the part of the police in recording the complaint” and taking the matter seriously after the child had gone missing.
Even when, despite its inaction or delayed action, the child was recovered, police, instead of coming to the spot, asked the parents to come to the police station with the traumatized child.
Pointing to the “insensitivity” of police and its inaction, the NGO said that it had the “audacity” of hushing up entire incident by offering bribe of Rs.2,000 to the victim’s parents.
Stressing the gravity of the situation, the petition said that till April 20 this year, 77 children, out of which 51 were girls, had gone missing in east Delhi alone and were untraced.
In the same period, 628 children have gone missing in the entire city, it said.