Pune: The Mumbai High Court has warned Pune city police officials of contempt of court proceedings if any false and misleading statement is submitted in the missing women’s case.
The judges - Bharati Dangre and SC Dharmadhikari - remarked this while hearing the petition of a man for tracing his married daughter who is missing since 2014.
Crime Branch Unit 5 Assistant Police Inspector Nandre had submitted confidential information in a sealed envelope to the court during the hearing on December 7. Police said that they had sent a team to West Bengal also but could not trace her.
“After perusal of the confidential communication, we have impressed upon Yagnik (the public prosecutor) that if nothing concrete emerges from the information now revealed and if the court comes to a conclusion that these are mere delaying tactics or attempt to shirk the responsibilities, then the instructing police officials and the entire staff in-charge of the investigation would have to take the consequences. Meaning, thereby that any false and misleading statement would result in the proceedings under the Contempt of Courts Act being initiated and equally the disciplinary proceedings, so that a serious misconduct of this nature will not go unpunished. Yagnik states that the officials are prepared to take these consequences,” the hearing order states. The case will be now heard on January 4, 2018.
Petitioner Shashidharan’s counsel Aashutosh Srivastava said, “The HC had been giving directions to the investigating agency. It is the first time that court has said that contempt proceedings can be initiated. I hope concerned officers will investigate the case seriously.”
Sijitha Madhavan (33), a housewife, went missing on January 31, 2014, from her Dighi residence. Her husband Jiji Madhavan (45) lodged a missing complaint with the Dighi police chowky on February 1, 2014. The couple was married for 15 years and had two daughters aged 14 and 11. On February 24, he was found hanging from a ceiling fan in Dighi. It was alleged that cops used to humiliate him and taunt him whenever he went to ask about updates in the case. On February 26, an FIR under sections 306 (abetment to suicide) and 34 was lodged against Anil Nair, who is suspected to be involved in the missing case, and Sijitha, on a complaint from Madhavan’s brother. It is alleged that Sijitha and Nair had an affair and they eloped. But cops have not traced them till date.
Following this, Sijitha’s father Shashidharan Nair, a businessman, filed a writ petition in 2014 in the High Court.