Bombay HC Lambasts Police Inaction in Curbing Human Trafficking

State Women’s Commission Wants Police Co Ordination with NGOs

13 September 2006NGOs need to be roped in by the police to crack down on brothels as per the directives of the High Court, Maharashtra Commission for Women’s Chairperson Rajani Satav has suggested.In a statement here yesterday, Ms Satav said police alone could not search crowded areas and brothels to look for minor girls who are victims of human trafficking, and induced into prostitution.The HC had directed to seek CBI help in raiding brothels.A division bench comprising Justices J N Patel and R S Dalvi yesterday observed that to prevent minor girls from being forced into prostitution, the action had to initiate at the police station level.

Bombay HC Lambasts Police Inaction in Curbing Human Trafficking

12 September, 2006The Bombay High Court has hauled up the police for “inaction in curbing human trafficking and prostitution”.A division bench comprising justices J N Patel and R S Dalvi observed that action had to be initiated at the police station level itself to ensure that girls are not forced into prostitution.Coming down heavily on the State Government pleader Satish Borulkar, Justice Patel questioned as to how many police officials had been suspended in the last three years for not taking action against human traffickers.”The court fails to understand why the police commissioner has not been monitoring the problem of human trafficking,” he observed.The court was hearing a petition filed by a non-government organisation “Prerna” which has sought reinvestigation into the case wherein nine girls, who had been rescued from a brothel in 2002, had gone missing.The court was told that the number of minor girls rescued from brothels during the last three years was shocking. As many as 26 girls were rescued in 2003, twelve in 2004, 31 girls were rescued in 2005 and 27 during the current year, the court was told.The matter regarding the nine missing girls was subsequently handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation. The court today directed the CBI to submit an action plan to enforce the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA). The action plan will be implemented not only in Mumbai and Maharashtra but across the entire country, Additional Solicitor General of India B A Desai told the court on behalf of the CBI.The court also directed Social Service Cell chief, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Enforcement) Sanjay Aparanti, to submit an action taken report within two weeks regarding the nine missing girls who had been rescued from a brothel in Santa Cruz.The court held that the CBI had overriding powers over the police and cannot be prevented from conducting raids at houses and places where such minor girls are kept captive.The court said the CBI should not hesitate to arrest suspects of human trafficking and book them under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).The police and the Social Service Cell must cooperate and coordinate with the CBI in this matter, the court said.(UNI)

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