The Mumbai Police should work towards ensuring that citizens take a lead role in the investigation of a crime that occurs in their neighbourhood, observed the Bombay high court, while hearing a petition by Jeevan Gupta and Suman Jaiswal, both from Dharavi, who have been charged with kidnapping the 5-year-old girl of one Chandrakant Wankhede in 2012.
And the social situation shouldn't deteriorate to the extend that people who genuinely love children develop some kind of a fear psychosis and are scared of playing with even their neighbour's children, the HC further noted.
The kidnapped girl is yet to be traced even after a through probe by the police. However, six people have been booked over suspicion raised by the parents of the minor girl.
A division bench of Justice N H Patil and Justice V L Achliya said: "These days people don't go around the couple during a marriage fearing they may (some day) be booked by the police because they figure in the photograph! Our society is not ready for this. The police have to be cautious; there shouldn't be such a fear psychosis; we have to avoid that."
The court, while disposing off the petition filed by Gupta and Jaiswal seeking quashing of the First Information Report (FIR) registered against them on May 12, 2012, directed the two to approach the trial court for seeking discharge.
The court also said there were Supreme Court rulings, which put the responsibility on the police to thoroughly investigate a case and file an appropriate report before the lower court if there was no evidence against an accused.
According to advocates Juzer Udaipuri and Bhupendra Singh, the accused were arrested merely on suspicion, and to date, the police had made no headway in the case. And the saddest part is that they have not been able to trace the missing child either.
The court also inquired whether the police had referred the case to the anti-child trafficking cell, and added that this case would have national and international ramifications and hence the investigating agency should be on the alert.