Bombay HC Slams Goa Police For Posing With A Mother Accused Of Abandoning Her New-Born
The Goa bench of the Bombay High Court came down heavily on certain Police officials for posing in front of the media with a mother arrested for allegedly abandoning her new-born child. The division bench of Justices M. S. Sonak and N. D. Sardessai had taken suo motu cognizance of the newspaper article, published in a Marathi daily 'Tarun Bharat', which featured the photograph.
"The photograph conjures an image of some Maharaja/hunters posing with their trophy after a hunt. At least prima facie, such action on the part of the Police Officials, who are seen in the picture may amount to human right violation of the mother in the picture", the bench said.
The court opined that the actions of the concerned police officials amounted to human right violation of the mother and also debilitated the presumption of innocence which is the "cornerstone of criminal jurisprudence". It was also stated that the officials had violated the right to privacy as well as dignity of the woman and that "At least, prima facie, the action of the Police Officials, in virtually parading the mother before the media, may amount to rendering such fundamental rights of the mother, a casualty."
As per the news article, the woman and her husband had been arrested for abandoning their new born third child who was found in a garage and was rushed to a local government hospital.
The bench sought reply of the concerned Police officials within two weeks and directed the Director General of Goa Police and the Chief Secretary of the state government to "place on record whether any rules or guidelines are in place in the matter of Police Officials interacting with media in pending investigations in general and posing for photographs alongwith persons accused of having committed any offence".
The court also issued directions with respect to safety and welfare of two other children of the accused couple, aged six and four years. "It is necessary that proper steps are taken to secure and protect these children. We are concerned that they are not left abandoned, on account of arrest of their parents", the Court said while directing the state government to make suitable arrangements for the same. Further, the Director of Women and Child Department has been asked to file an affidavit with respect to the steps taken for the welfare of all three children.
The bench also sought appearance of Advocate General of Goa on the next date of hearing, i.e., September 13.