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Bombay HC Berates State Over Its Probe Failure To Secure Man's Presence Despite Wife's 13-Yr Long Fight, Orders 50K Compensation

Sparsh Upadhyay
6 Nov 2021 8:49 AM GMT
Bombay HC Berates State Over Its Probe Failure To Secure Mans Presence Despite Wifes 13-Yr Long Fight, Orders 50K Compensation
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Dealing with a Habeas corpus plea filed by a woman seeking the presence of her husband for the last 13 years, the Bombay High Court recently granted 50,000/- compensation to her noting that the state machinery had failed to trace her husband.The Bench of Justice V. K. Jadhav and Justice Shrikant D. Kulkarni noted that it was very saddening that despite pursuing the litigation for the last...

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Dealing with a Habeas corpus plea filed by a woman seeking the presence of her husband for the last 13 years, the Bombay High Court recently granted 50,000/- compensation to her noting that the state machinery had failed to trace her husband.

The Bench of Justice V. K. Jadhav and Justice Shrikant D. Kulkarni noted that it was very saddening that despite pursuing the litigation for the last 13 years, she couldn't get the fruits of her efforts.

In a strongly worded order, the Court even pulled up the state government and expressed its displeasure over the way in which the State machinery had conducted an investigation in the case.

"The State machinery has failed in securing life of the husband of the petitioner. It is a clear case of infringement of right to life and personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. We express our displeasure the way in which the State machinery has conducted investigation in the case," the Court added.

The matter in brief:

One Kamalbai, filed a Habeas corpus plea in the year 2005 seeking production of her husband. She claimed in the High Court that her husband, Gangadhar Patil was running a proprietary concern, dealing with the business of cotton in addition to his profession as an agriculturist. 

She further submitted that one Vithal Gaikawad/Chairman of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Magasvargiya Sahakari Soot Girni, Palam, Dist. Parbhani (Respondent No. 8) owed some amount to her husband.

Allegedly, Respondent No. 8 being a Chairman and M.L.A. along with his son Rajesh Gaikwad and close relatives threatened to the husband of the petitioner to kill him if he demanded the outstanding bill.

Significantly, in 2005, he received a phone call in respect of the outstanding bill, and the husband went to get the same and didn't return.

The petitioner even filed a complaint with the police expressing apprehension that respondent Nos. 8 and 9 might have detained her husband, however, since the Police failed to trace out her husband, she moved to the High Court.

Her counsel submitted before the Court that the State Government had failed to assign any reason as to why action was not taken against respondent No. 8, who was M.L.A. at the relevant time, along with other relatives of respondent number 8.

It was also argued that the State Government and Police Officers did not clarify as to why no actions was not taken against the name accused. 

The Court was also told that the petitioner was fighting this litigation since the year 2005, but there was no progress in the investigation. He also referred to Apex Court's ruling in the case of Nilabati Behera, D.K. Basu and Rudal Shah.

On the other hand, the State Government argued that the Police Officers cannot be blamed when they have taken sincere efforts to find out the petitioner's husband and that it was not a case to award exemplary costs.

Court's observations:

Underscoring that the State machinery had failed to produce the petitioner's husband, even after a decade and that it is a sad state of affairs on the part of State machinery, the Court noted that the petitioner-woman had made out a case to award exemplary costs.

Further, stressing that there are no chances to secure the presence of the petitioner's husband, the Court, opined that no useful purpose would now be served by keeping this petition alive and ordered 50k compensation as an exemplary cost to her.

Case TitleKamalbai W/o Gangadhar (Patil) Biradar v. State of Maharashtra and Ors

Click Here To Read/Download The Judgment

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