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Don’t wait for 24 hours to start probe into missing children complaints: Delhi High Court to Police

A Division Bench of Justices Prathiba M Singh and Amit Sharma said that the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by the Ministry of Women and Child Development makes it adequately clear that action has to be taken immediately and promptly in cases of missing children.

Hence, there is no scope for any speculation or conjecture that the child may return home in 24 hours and hence the police can wait.

The first 24 hour-period is the critical period when steps for tracing of the missing person or child could lead to positive outcome, the Court stressed.

“Accordingly, let the Commissioner of Police look at the matter and give directions to all police stations to ensure that the waiting period of 24 hours is wholly unnecessary and in fact whenever a complaint is received, the inquiry/investigation should immediately commence. In light of the above SOPs as also the observations made herein above, all the police stations shall ensure that there shall be no waiting period for 24 hours in the case of missing children to start inquiry/investigation,” the Court ordered.

Source: Barandbench

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