The Bombay high court on Monday said it would lay down comprehensive guidelines for protecting minor children, especially girls.
“The police are not taking prompt steps to trace missing minors, who are often trafficked or forced to beg,” the division bench of justice VM Kanade and justice Anuja Prabhudessai said.
The Hindustan Times had reported in September how four minor girls had gone missing in the city, every day this year.
The bench was hearing a petition by advocate Abha Singh in the Esther Anuhya murder case, seeking action against police personnel attached to the Kurla GRP, who lost crucial time as they had refused to register an FIR because of “jurisdiction issues”. Citing HT’s report, Singh contended women and girls in the city did not feel safe, primarily because of police apathy.
She also mentioned an amendment to section 166 A of the Criminal Procedure Code, whereby action can be taken against police personnel found neglecting their duties.
Anuhya, a native of Andhra Pradesh, had gone missing from the Lokmanya Kurla Termius in the early hours of January 5. With the police refusing to register an FIR initially, her father had to ask her Mumbai-based brother Arun Kumar to try and find her.
It was after the Vijaywada police traced her last cell location to LTT, that the Kurla GRP had registered a missing person’s complaint, four days after the incident took place. Her partially burnt, decomposed body was finally found in some bushes at Bhandup.