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COMPLAINT OR JURISDICTION...WHAT IS IMPORTANT?


Questioning police's handling of missing complaints, the Bombay High Court today said that if anybody approaches a police station saying a child or woman relative is missing the police should first take down the complaint, instead of worrying about the jurisdiction. The remarks were made by a division bench of Justices N H Patil and Anuja Prabhudesai while hearing a petition filed by advocate and activist Abha Singh seeking probe by the state Crime Investigation Department (CID) into the "gross inaction" by police officers, who failed to act on the missing complaint filed by the family of techie Esther Anuhya. Esther had gone missing on January 5 after alighting at the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus in suburban Kurla. Her decomposed body was found on January 16 in suburban Kanjurmarg. The police yesterday arrested one Chandrabhan Sanap for the murder of Esther. According to the petition, when Esther's uncle had approached the MIDC police and Kurla railway police on January 5 to report that his niece was missing, the police officials there turned him away without taking down his complaint. "Only after Esther's father approached the Vijayawada police in Andhra Pradesh and the police there sent a letter to the Kurla railway police, a missing complaint was lodged on January 8. Esther went missing on January 5. For three days the police did nothing," Abha argued. The court then sought to know the mechanism adopted by the police while handling such cases. "If a person approaches the police saying his or her woman relative is missing what does the police do? Shouldn't they first note down the complaint instead of worrying about whether the case falls under their jurisdiction? Instead of asking the already troubled relative to run from one police station to another, shouldn't the police take down the complaint and intimate the concerned police station," Justice Patil questioned.
On December 24, 2013, Esther, who was working as an employee of TCS Mumbai, went to Macchilipatanam for Christmas vacation with her parents. She returned to Mumbai on January 5 night and took an auto rickshaw from the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus in suburban Mumbai but never reached home. Esther's brother and father came to Mumbai to lodge a missing complaint when they did not hear from Esther. The MIDC Police Station, Andheri, did not register their complaint and told them to go to Kurla Railway Police Station. However, when the matter was reported to Kurla Railway Police Station, they also did not register the complaint, and told that the matter be reported to Vijaywada police station in Andhra Pradesh. 

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