Inefficient Investigation Equals Efficient Sexual Trafficking: Clueless Authorities

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One of the crucial stages of criminal justice delivery system is the investigation of the crime and to well connect the dots to bring the perpetrators to justice. However, such was disregarded recently when the Supreme Court was baffled at the sight of the cluelessness of the authorities as regards the incident which occurred last year where 68 girls from the red light area of Maharashtra were rescued and which were then sent to Rajasthan where their homes and families were. The aggravated Supreme Court summoned Maharashtra DGP Satish Mathur on Wednesday passing an order directing the authorities to take such matters seriously.

In the present case the circumstances indicated a systematic crime taking place as the girls were rescued from Maharashtra were originally from Rajasthan and there can be certain intermediaries which are involved in such illicit trade. The bench comprising of Justice J. Chelameswar and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, noted this by stating that “Admittedly, all the girls rescued belong to the State of Rajasthan, who are found in the State of Maharashtra and allegedly involved in the oldest profession known to the humanity. If 68 girls from one particular State are found in another State in the minds of anybody concerned that there must be some systematic crime going on to induce or compel the innocent girls into prostitution.”

It came to the notice of the Court that there were two ladies which were allegedly running the brothel and they were arrested by the authorities. The court was displeased to hear that these ladies were released on bail without proper investigation taking place and the Court directed that “If that is the degree of efficiency of an investigation, it is not safe to leave the investigation to the hands of the officers present in Court. Having regard to the dimensions of the case and the implications of the social problem, apart from the question of law, we deem it appropriate to direct the Director General of Police, Maharashtra to be present before this Court to assist the Court from the question of law, we deem it appropriate to direct the Director General of Police, Maharashtra to be present before this Court to assist the Court for further course of action in respect of the case on 03.04.2018.”

The order of the Court highlights the grieving fact that the authorities choose to turn a blind eye on such pressing social issue and moreover being clueless gives a impression to wrongdoers the authorities are pretty much laid back and that it is easier to carry out such illicit trade because of the short hand of law. 

The authors, Nihit Chauhan and Shubham Dhayagonde, are LL.M. scholars at Maharashtra National Law University Mumbai.