SC Ensuring Confidentiality in The Case of Kidnapping of a Minor Girl

On September 14, a Division Bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and CT Ravikumar issued directions to the Delhi Police to maintain confidentiality vis-à-vis the reports or developments in the investigation pertaining to the kidnapping of a 13 years old minor girl..

In this case, the petitioner’s daughter went missing from Gorakhpur, when the family was their visiting relatives. She remained  untraced even after 2 months of the Uttar Pradesh Police’s investigation. Subsequently, the Supreme Court had transferred the investigation from the Uttar Pradesh Police to the Delhi Police, who was able to trace the girl within 2 days. The girl was traced back to Kolkata.

The aforementioned direction came as a result of the request made by Advocate Amit Pai, counsel for the petitioner, who prayed to the court to prohibit the media from publicizing any reports or developments in the case due to the involvement of a minor girl child.

The Bench also directed the respective authorities at AIIMS, Delhi to submit the age determination report of the girl, before the next date of hearing, as prayed by Advocate Pai during the last hearing.

Need for the age determination report arose when some discrepancy pertaining to the age of the girl came up. Her Aadhaar card and her school certificate show her age to be 13, but police records indicate her age as 16.

Senior Advocate KV Vishwanathan, Amicus Curae in the case, made an observation that while the UPT report detected the girl was pregnant, the ultrasound did not detect any pregnancy. To ascertain whether the girl is pregnant, the question of consent for the pregnancy test needs to be resolved. For that, whether she is a minor or not needs to be determined.

The case has been listed for next hearing on 17th September.

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