HC warrant officer ‘rescues’ Miss Punjaban contestant
The Miss Punjaban contestant’s father alleged she called him to tell that some senior functionaries were pressurising her for sexual favours and that she was being denied food and other facilities
A warrant officer appointed by the Punjab and Haryana high court “rescued” a beauty pageant contestant from the “illegal custody” of the organisers in Mohali on Tuesday evening, hours after the 24-year-old woman’s father moved a habeas corpus petition.
The woman in question was a contestant of Miss Punjaban 2022-23, which is organised by PTC channel. Her father, a Mohali resident, had moved the high court seeking her release from the “illegal custody” of the organisers. He also sought to make PTC managing director Rabindra Narayan, Miss Punjaban director Nancy Ghuman, assistant director Niharika and Hotel JD Residency as parties.
The court was told that the woman was called to PTC office in Sector 74 and provided accommodation at Hotel JD Residency in Mohali, after she cleared the audition on March 3. She had earlier cleared the pre-audition in January, it was stated.
The father had also alleged that on Monday night, his daughter called him to tell that some senior functionaries were pressurising her for sexual favours and that she was also not being provided food and other facilities. It was further alleged that even as the woman pleaded them to let her go, she was not allowed and was made to sign some blank and some typed papers. When the father approached authorities, they demanded money, he alleged.
Acting on the plea, the high court bench of justice Avneesh Jhingan had directed the registry to appoint a warrant officer on Tuesday itself, who was asked to visit the premises and get the girl released. The officer was also asked to submit a report on March 17.
Baseless allegations: PTC
Denying the allegations, PTC managing director Rabindra Narayan said: “We have been doing the event for the past three decades and during the contest, the contestants are not allowed to meet anyone. On Monday, the girl went out of the premises without permission and the production in charge scolded her, following which she lodged a complaint, alleging that she has been illegally confined, which is totally baseless. The warrant officer came on Tuesday evening and we have allowed her to go.”