HC summons remand home head on habeas corpus plea of minor

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Hearing a Habeas Corpus petition, the Bombay High Court issued summons to the superintendent of Dongri children’s remand home, asking him to remain present tomorrow along with papers pertaining to a minor girl who was lodged there.

The order was given by a bench headed by Justice Naresh Patil on a petition filed by 45-year-old Mohammed Sadique Mohammed Zuber Shaikh whose daughter was sent to the remand home by police.

Shaikh alleged that Govandi police had registered a false case against him contending that his wife and daughter had escaped to Surat in neighbouring Gujarat, where “they were being forced into prostitution by him”.

The minor girl was detained by police in the wee hours of March 6 and later sent to the remand home after which police asked for money from her father to let her off the hook, the petition alleged.

Petitioner’s counsel Amin Solkar argued the girl’s statement against her father was forcibly recorded by police. Solkar said the case attracted the provisions of Juvenile Justice (care and protection of children) Act.

He also urged that the court may interview the girl to find out what she had to say on police allegations that she was being pushed into flesh trade by her own father.

The judges inquired as to why no action was being taken by police on the statement made by the girl to which the prosecutor Aruna Pai replied that she had changed her statement when produced before the committee of remand home.

The petitioner alleged that his daughter was detained unlawfully in the police station late on March 6 and that he was not aware of the reasons why she had been taken into custody. He alleged that police had recorded her statement only after taking her into custody.

The hearing would continue on Wednesday.