As the hapless father of a missing minor waits for some leads on his son from the narco test of the mother and sister of a juvenile in whose company the child was last seen, the Delhi High Court has expressed surprise that till date, India has just one narco test facility centre, which is at the Forensic Science Laboratory in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, and directed the Delhi government to procure a narco test machine for FSL, Rohini, and make it operational within three months.
"Delhi, being the capital of the country, we would have expected that at least one such facility would have been available with the FSL Rohini, Delhi, instead of making persons travel from Delhi to Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat for undergoing a Narco Test," said a bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri.
The court said so during the hearing of a plea of a father, a labourer, whose four-and-a half-year old child had gone missing on August 4, 2018, and is yet to be traced.
The mother and sister of the juvenile in whose company the child was last seen in a CCTV footage have to be taken to Gujarat for narco analysis but a date is yet to be scheduled for the same by FSL, Gujarat, which is also one of the busiest FSL in the country.
It is to be noted that the police at Khajui Khas Police Station in north east Delhi had refused to lodge an FIR when the child went missing after which the father moved the high court by way of a writ of habeas corpus through advocates Pulkit Prakash and Rajeev Ranjan.
Prakash argued that the child might have been kidnapped for "launda naach", a practice where boys dress as girls and perform in marriage ceremonies and then exploited sexually.
In the CCTV footage of the area from where the child went missing, he was last seen with his juvenile neighbour, who at present is in custody.
During the hearing, the court was informed that on January 1, consent of the mother and sister of the juvenile for undergoing a narco test was recorded by the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Karkardooma Court, but a date has yet to be scheduled for them to travel to Gandhinagar, Gujarat, for undergoing a narco test as the said facility is available only with the FSL there.
The court was surprised to learn from standing counsel Rahul Mehra that for undergoing a narco test, the persons shall have to travel to Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat, because no such facility is available with the FSL, Rohini.
"We are surprised to hear the said submission. Delhi, being the capital of the country, we would have expected that at least one such facility would have been available with the FSL Rohini, Delhi, instead of making persons travel from Delhi to Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat for undergoing a Narco Test."
Mehra further informed that the high court is monitoring the upgrade of facilities at the FSL in Delhi in some other writ petition and it is due to the orders passed in the said case that steps have been taken by the government to procure a brain-mapping machine. However, a narco test machine has yet to be procured.
"If steps have not been taken so far by the State Government to procure a Narco Test machine for the FSL, Rohini, then it is directed that the same shall be initiated with immediate effect. The machine for a Narco Test shall be procured and made operational within three months from today," ordered the bench.
It then went on to order, "Having regard to the fact that there is an urgency in the matter since the 41⁄2 years minor child of the petitioner has been missing ever since 04.08.2018, the Director, FSL, Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat is directed to give the shortest possible date, preferably within one month from today for conducting a Narco Test on the mother and sister of the juvenile."
Before the court, petitioner's counsel also submitted that the father of the child suspected one Ojair Khan alias Sultaan, who also worked as a labourer in Seelampur, Delhi, four years ago, to be the mastermind of the kidnapping of his son for a practice prevalent in Bihar where boys dress as girls and dance in marriage gatherings and then exploited sexually.
They also submitted that Ojair had travelled to Bihar on the pretext of getting married within one week of the child going missing and then phoned the child's father.
The police, however, submitted that Ojair, who is now in Nepal, had told the Investigating Officer that he does not have any information about the missing child.
The court directed the police to probe the angle suggested by the petitioner father and also produce before it the video-recording of Ojair's marriage ceremonies as also the photographs taken before the marriage and on 14.08.2018, and gather leads from his village with the help of local police.
Read the Order Here