Ahmadabad, July 17: The Gujarat high court has ordered the Bharuch superintendent of police to investigate and produce a 14-year-old girl before the court, who has allegedly eloped with a man. Ironically, the man was convicted two years ago on Pocso charges for eloping with another minor girl in 2016.
The high court has asked the government to file an application for bail cancellation of the convict because he has indulged in a similar offence after having come out on bail.
The case involved one Dilip Padhiyar (24) from Uchchhad village in Jambusar taluka of Bharuch district.
He was punished with 10 years in jail in December 2018 by a special court for kidnapping a 16-year-old girl in 2016. He was prosecuted under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act and for rape and kidnapping charges. He got away with a 10-year-imprisonment because the girl was over 16 years and she had not alleged rape. However, Dilip Padhiyar was held guilty of statutory rape, abduction as well as under provisions of Pocso Act.
Dinesh Padhiyar got regular bail from the high court pending his appeal challenging his conviction in January 2019. In November 2019, he eloped with another minor girl.
Her father approached the high court complaining that though an FIR was registered with Vedach police station, the police have not made any effort to trace his minor girl. It was also contended in the habeas corpus petition that Padhiyar is a habitual offender.
Petitioner's advocate Imtiyaz Kureshi said that looking at the past of Dinesh Padhiyar, the high court asked the state government to initiate proceedings for cancellation of his bail.
The bench headed by Justice Sonia Gokani instructed HC's registry to treat the bail cancellation application as an urgent matter.
The high court has ordered Bharuch SP to produce the girl before the court by July 20, and in case she cannot be traced by then, he will have to submit an action taken report.