he Delhi High Court last week directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to hold a preliminary inquiry into the affairs of a Dehradun-based drug rehabilitation centre where a major woman was detained for 22 days on the pretext of rehabilitation at the request of her mother.
While ordering the release of the woman-Sweety Sharma, from the rehabilitation centre, a division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rajnish Bhatnagar directed the CBI to examine the complete records, activities and ongoings at the Golden Dream Society Rehabilitation Centre situated at Dehradun, and if a case was made out, to register a case under the appropriate provisions of law.
The bench added that there could be other instances like that of the present woman Sweety Sharma – where persons may have been detained in a similar fashion for ulterior motives.
The Court order came after Sweety Sharma told the Court that she was not addicted to any narcotics or other substances and she was illegally admitted and detained at the de-addiction centre.
After being quizzed by the Court as to what medical records or other documents the deaddiction centre had in their possession to support the claim that the woman required rehabilitation, the Director of the centre told the Court that the woman was not suffering from any addiction and that she did not require rehabilitation.
The Court also interacted with Sweety’s mother and found that her real concern was that her daughter was in a relationship with one Shah Nawaz – a married man with two children.
The mother, Asha Sharma, also told the Court that Shah Nawaz had been issuing threats to her and her son Gagan Sharma. She said she had also made complaints in this regard at Police Station – Bindapur. She had earlier made a similar police complaint at PS – Shahdara as well. However, on those complaints, no FIR had been registered and no action had been taken.
Taking a strong view of the inaction by the police, the Court remarked that “Unfortunately, this is the usual trend that we see in such cases. People who come from the poorer strata of the society hardly ever are heard by the police and their complaints remain unactioned”.
It directed the Commissioner of Police, Delhi to take action, not only against the erring police officials but also to ensure that appropriate action is taken on the police complaints made by Asha Sharma.
It added asked the local police station to ensure that Shah Nawaz does not come to the residence of Asha Sharma, or loiter around the said place.
The Court also directed the Delhi Police to register a case against the said centre and its director, Vikas Bisht, and all those responsible for Sweety Sharma’s illegal detention.
If the Delhi Police was not in a position to investigate the case for lack of jurisdiction, the FIR would then need to be transferred to the police station with jurisdiction over the area where the Golden Dream Society Rehabilitation Centre was located in Dehradun, the court added.
It also directed a refund of Rs.8000/- charged as the centre’s fee from Sweety’s mother, to be paid to the girl as compensation.