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Kerala High Court seeks explanation from Magistrate for remanding accused arrested in violation of Arnesh Kumar guidelines

The Court was considering a contempt of court case instituted by a 22-year-old divorced woman with a 10-month-old baby who was living with her mother and her mother’s live-in partner.

She approached the police, with the help of the second petitioner, alleging sexual harassment at the hands of her mother’s the live-in partner. She claimed that did not receive a receipt for the complaint and is unaware of the status of the same.

Her mother was somehow alerted and the petitioner received a heated phone call and was told not to return home.

On the same day, the mother e-mailed the Child Welfare Committee alleging that the petitioner had abandoned her child and thereafter, gave a first information statement to the police.

The police apparently proceeded on the assumption that the petitioner had intentionally deserted the child and that the second petitioner had abetted the act.

On this basis, criminal proceedings were initiated by the respondent police officer, by first registering a man missing FIR under the Kerala Police Act and later altering it to offences under the Juvenile Justice Act (JJ Act).

When the petitioners were called to the police station, they believed it was for the man missing report but they were arrested and the police allegedly did not inform them of the offences involved.

After the petitioner was brought before the jurisdictional Magistrate, the petitioner gave a statement about the harassment by her mother’s live-in partner and other circumstances.

The Magistrate remanded the petitioners to 5 days judicial custody.

The petitioners then approached the High Court by way of the present contempt case alleging patent and flagrant violation of the directives and guidelines issued by the apex court Arnesh Kumar.

Source: Barandbench

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