A day after the Bombay High Court transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation investigations into a father kidnapping his son, a division bench of Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice R.G. Ketkar saw a similar case on Friday.
In the earlier case, finding that the police had allegedly unduly favoured the accused, the high court transferred to the CBI the case of Manpreet Biji, whose husband allegedly fled with their two-year-old son in 2006, and has since been missing.
In the second such case, on Friday, the high court found the magistrate of an Ulhasnagar court first granted pre-arrest protection and then full-fledged bail to the father and brother of Priti Chugh’s accused husband Bunty without informing either police or the prosecutor attached to his court.
Following matrimonial disputes, Priti had separated from Bunty and obtained custody of her son in October 2008. Just after that, talks for reconciliation began between the two families. During one such meeting on November 11, 2008, the boy was snatched from Priti’s hands; Bunty and the boy have since been untraceable.
“We are really amazed to see the orders,” said Justice Desai, wondering where there was a provision under the Criminal Procedure Code that gives pre-arrest protection to an accused.
The court was referring to the magistrate’s order of April 24, requiring the Ulhasnagar Central Police to issue four days notice before arresting Bunty’s father Shankarlal and brother, Nitin Chugh in case an offence was registered against them.
The magistrate had granted regular bail to Shankarlal and Nitin after both surrendered before his court on May 8 – a day after an FIR was registered based on a complaint filed by Priti.
What particularly agitated the court was the fact that the magistrate had granted bail to both without informing the police or the prosecutor attached to his court.
The court has now called for all the records of the case and posted the matter for further hearing on Tuesday.