Mankhurd shelter case: Cops should avoid ‘impromptu’ rescue, says ex-magistrate
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Former magistrate Swati Chouhan, in her report on Navjeevan Mahila Vastigruha in Mankhurd submitted to the Bombay High Court on Wednesday, said the police should not conduct "impromptu" mass rescue operations and such operations should be done with proper planning.
On November 26, HC had asked Chouhan to monitor the functioning and living conditions in the home and submit a report.
Chouhan said in her report, "For mass rescue operations, pre-planning and networking with stakeholders must be done invariably. An impromptu mass rescue operation... ultimately makes the exercise futile."
She recommended that for such operations, the state government, in accordance with Section 13 (b) of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956, should appoint a non-official body consisting of social workers to advise police.
The report also recommended that magistrates must verify that no victim is detained in a shelter home for more than three weeks unless a detention order is passed against her. Chouhan's report mentioned that the staff provided by the Women and Child Welfare Department is incapable of dealing with emergencies. She dealt with the allegation that one of the inmates was impregnated. She recorded that the woman was taken for a pregnancy test on October 23 and the result was positive. Regarding allegations of men illegally entering the home, Chouhan said there was "definitely trespass committed by someone".
HC asked the state and other respondents to examine the report.
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