The Kerala HC came down heavily on the police over "victimising" a Delhi-origin couple who had to bear travel and accommodation costs of a Kerala Police team which went to the national capital to search for their missing daughters, saying "don't they (officers) have any self-respect".
Justice Devan Ramachandran scolded the police asking how could they have made the parents, worried over their missing daughters, pay for the travel and stay at Delhi.
"If the controlling authority was not aware about it, then it indicates complete breakdown of the law. There appears to be no accountability. No wonder the police are like this," the court said.
"How are you victimising the victims (parents)? What kind of police officers are they? Don't they have any self-respect," the court added.
The enquiry proceedings revealed that one of the officers was suspended in connection with a cheating case while the others have only been transferred. The court was hearing a plea it initiated on its own based on a newspaper report which claimed that not only did the police demand ₹ 5 lakh to release the daughters back to the parents, they also arrested the couple's two elder sons for allegedly sexually abusing their sisters.
The family claimed that false allegations were levelled against the brothers and the Kerala State Legal Services Authority, was asked to look into the matter which concluded its findings as the daughters aged 14 and 19 years were very fond of the brothers and never made any such allegations.
In view of these facts, the court allowed the daughters to return home to their parents and directed that a protection officer as provided under the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2021 keep a vigil on the house and ensure their welfare continuously for 10 days initially and then on a random basis thereafter. According to the news report, the two sisters had run away from home to Delhi with ₹ 35,000 to meet the online boyfriend of the elder one.
Subsequently, the parents had to pay for the travel and accommodation of the police team which went to Delhi from Kerala to look for the girls, the news report said. The team found the girls from Delhi and initial probe revealed that the elder was raped by her online boyfriend and another man.