CHENNAI: A division bench of the Madras High Court has suggested to the Union government to amend CrPC Section 174 so as to include man missing cases also under its scope.
The division bench of Justices N Kirubakaran and Abdul Quddhose, which gave the suggestion, has also raised a series of questions in this connection: Is there any provision with regard to ‘man missing’ cases in the Indian Penal Code? If not, is there any other provision in any other Act? Why can the Central government not amend Sec.174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to include the ‘man missing’ case also within its scope?
The bench was passing interim orders on a habeas corpus writ petition from Maheswari of Ammapettai in Salem seeking to trace her daughter, an undergraduate student in Vivekananda College, who went missing from February 14 from her hostel. When contacted, she told her mother that she was with her uncle Loganathan, who was already married with a child and that she intended to live with him. Maheswari lodged a police complaint on February 15. Since no action has been taken, the petitioner has moved the court.
During the course of arguments, the judges came to know that only a CSR was registered and that there was no provision in the IPC to register a ‘missing’ case in the IPC. “This court is unable to understand how an offence, which is not stated in the IPC, has been invented by the police officials and FIRs are registered ... Therefore,
Section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure should be amended to include man missing cases under this provision so that an enquiry could be conducted,” the judges said.