HC raps Odisha, Delhi Police on failure to trace missing girl

New Delhi, Jan 29: The Delhi High Court Wednesday rapped a team of investigating officers from Odisha and Delhi Police after they failed to trace a missing girl who disappeared shortly after being brought here from Odisha under the pretext of employment.

A division bench of Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw warned the probe team that “it will take not only take action against the officials for failing to trace the girl, but also for their lapses in handling the case”.

“It is your duty, you are not doing it for charity,” the bench said, after the counsel appearing for Odisha Police told the court that they were doing their best to trace the girl.

The superintendent of police of Odisha’s Kandhamal district who was present in court admitted that police have not been able to trace the girl despite all possible efforts.

The court during the last hearing had ordered the superintendent of police to appear in person and explain why the girl, missing since January 2010 after being brought to Delhi by a placement agency, has not been traced till date.

Expressing disappointment, the bench Wednesday said it was “not satisfied” with the investigation conducted by the team.

The court directed the investigating team to give a detailed status report within two weeks and posted the matter for Feb 12.

The court earlier also directed Delhi Police to take action against the placement agency responsible for bringing the girl from Odisha.

A fact finding committee was also constituted to examine the trend of disappearance of minor children, particularly girls from Odisha and other states, who are brought to Delhi under the pretext of employment.

Four girls – aged between 14 and 18 – had been trafficked to Delhi from Odisha by a placement agency. Three, who were eventually rescued, were found to have been physically and sexually abused.

The parents of the fourth girl had filed a habeas corpus plea in the Delhi High Court, alleging that Delhi and Orissa Police failed to trace the child.

IANS