Human Rights; Punarjani Charitable Trust Vs. Union of India [Kerala High Court, 12-08-2016]

Human Rights – Sexual Abuse in India – Bangladesh Nationals – Cases registered in connection with the same are pending trial – Bangladesh Nationals are detained in India solely for the purpose of securing their presence to be examined as witnesses in some criminal cases pending trial.

Held:- there cannot be any doubt that their detention in India is arbitrary. The inaction on the part of the officials in not deporting the Bangladesh Nationals to their motherland is illegal and against the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as also the International Covenant on civil and political rights. High Commission of Bangladesh in India has issued travel permits to enable them to go to their motherland and agreed to support the Bangladesh Nationals for their video conferencing for the trial of the cases. In the result, the writ petition is allowed and the Foreign Regional Registration Officer is directed to deport the Bangladesh Nationals to their motherland forthwith.

IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM

P.B. SURESH KUMAR, J.

W.P.(C).No.16045 of 2016

Dated 12 th August, 2016

PETITIONER(S)

PUNARJANI CHARITABLE TRUST, A LADY LAWYER’S INITIATIVE, REGISTERED NO. 29/2011, HAVING ITS REGISTERED OFFICE AT 3RD FLOOR, DOOR NO. 301, INDO ARCADE, CHEROOTY ROAD, KOZHIKODE, REPRESENTED BY ITS TRUSTEE SAPNA P.P.

BY ADV. SRI.B.PREMNATH.

RESPONDENT(S)

1. UNION OF INDIA, REPRESENTED BY THE SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS, NORTH EAST DIVISION-NE IV, NORTH BLOCK, CABINET SECRETARIAT, RAISINA HILL, NEW DELHI- 110 001.

2. MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA, SOUTH BLOCK, CABINET SECRETARIAT, RAISINA HILL, NEW DELHI -110 001, REPRESENTED BY ITS SECRETARY.

3. OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSION, PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF BANGLADESH, EP-39, DR. S.RADHAKRISHAN MARG, CHANAKYAPURA, NEW DELHI -110 021, REPRESENTED BY ITS CONSULAR.

4. STATE OF KERALA, REPRESENTED BY THE SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL JUSTICE, SECRETARIAT, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM -695 001.

5. FOREIGN REGIONAL REGISTRATION OFFICER, FOREIGN REGIONAL REGISTRATION OFFICE, 20/1305, CASTLE VIEW, THIRUVANNUR ROAD, PANNIYANKARA, KALLAYI P.O., KOZHIKODE -673 003.

6. CHILD WELFARE COMMITTEE- JUVENILE JUSTICE, GOVERNMENT OBSERVATION HOME, THAVANOOR, KUTTIPPURAM, THRIKKANAPURAM POST, MALAPPURAM-679 673, REPRESENTED BY ITS CHAIRMAN. WP(C).No. 16045 of 2016 (E)

7. DISTRICT GOVERNMENT PLEADER & PUBLIC INSTRUCTOR, DISTRICT COURTS, MANJERI, MALAPPURAM, REPRESENTED BY THE PUBLIC PROSECUTOR, HIGH COURT OF KERALA, ERNAKULAM- 682 031.

8. THE DISTRICT POLICE CHIEF, MALAPPURAM DISTRICT-679 673.

9. THE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE, KOZHIKODE -673 003.

10. GOVERNMENT MAHILA MANDIRAM, VELLIMADAKUNNU, KOZHIKODE-673 001, REPRESENTED BY ITS SUPERINTENDENT.

11. ARM OF JOY, PUBLIC CHARITABLE TRUST, 27/1015, P.O. KUTHIRAVATTAM, KOZHIKODE- 673 016, REPRESENTED BY ITS MANAGING TRUSTEE ANOOP.G.

12. KULSUM @ MOYNA, VILL:1 NO. GHAT KHULNA, WORD NO.21, PS: KHULNA SADAR, DIST: KHULNA, BANGLADESH, NOW RESIDING AT GOVERNMENT MAHILA MANDIRAM, VELLIMADUKUNNU, KOZHIKODE-673 004.

13. RUPA, VILL:MULASHREE PO: PAHARDANGA, PS:NORAGATI, DIST: NORAIL, BANGLADESH, NOW RESIDING AT GOVERNMENT MAHILA MANDIRAM, VELLIMADUKUNNU, KOZHIKODE -673 004.

14. NODIA, VILL: CLUB ROAD, RAJAPUR BAZAR, P.O.:SENER BAZAR, PS:RUPSHA, DIST: KHULNA, BANGLADESH, NOW RESIDING AT GOVERNMENT MHILA MANDIRAM, VELLIMADUKUNNU, KOZHIKODE -673 004.

R1, R2 & R5 BY ADV. SRI.N.NAGARESH, ASSIST. S.G. OF INDIA. R4, R6, R7 TO R10 BY SR. GOVT. PLEADER SRI.P. FAZIL. R11 BY ADV. SRI. N.K. SUBRAMANIAN R12 TO R14 BY ADV. SMT.K.P.REGHA.

J U D G M E N T

Respondents 12 to 14, who are Bangladesh nationals, were subjected to sexual abuse in India and cases registered in connection with the same are pending trial before the Sessions Court (Fast Track-1), Manjeri in S.C.Nos.354 and 443 of 2012. Though the occurrences which are the subject matter of the said cases took place several years back, the trial of the cases are yet to be over. Respondents 12 to 14, in the circumstances, are sheltered by the police at Government Mahila Mandiram, Kozhikkode for the last almost eight years. Respondents 12 to 14 who are living separately from their parents and relatives for the last several years are eager to go back to their country and having regard to their sad plight, the High Commission of Bangladesh in India has already issued travel permits to enable them to go to their motherland. The petitioner is a trust engaged in the rehabilitation of women and children who are subjected to sexual abuses. The case set up by them in the writ petition is that despite the travel permits issued by the High Commission of Bengladesh, respondents 12 to 14 are not permitted to leave India by the fifth respondent, the Foreign Regional Registration Officer of the Government of India on account of the pendency of the criminal cases referred to above. According to the petitioner, respondents 12 to 14 cannot be detained in India for the said reason and if at all their presence is to be secured for the trial of the cases in India, it is for the State to secure their presence by diplomatic intervention. It is also contended by the petitioner that the physical presence of respondents 12 to 14 are not necessary in India for the trial of the cases referred to above and their evidence in the said cases can be secured by video conferencing also. The petitioner, therefore, seeks directions to respondents 1, 2 and 5 to initiate steps to deport respondents 12 to 14 to their country.