Decoy used in sonography sting missing, HC asks CID to probe
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday
transferred investigation into the disappearance of a woman
who is a prime witness in a case related to illegal sonography
test, to the state CID.
The woman, Archana Palkar, was used as a decoy by
district medical authorities to catch red-handed Dr Prabhakar
Pawar allegedly conducted tests prohibited under Pre
Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of
Sex selection) Act 1994 at his clinic in Karad at Satara
Palkar, who was pregnant in 2007, was sent to the clinic
to verify this. Subsequently, a case under the Act was filed
against the doctor, and trial is now underway.
But on April 21 this year, Palkar went missing after she
stepped out of her house to buy medicines. Since police could
not find her, Satara-based activist Varsha Deshpande, who is
also part of member of monitoring committee set up under the
Act, has filed a habeas corpus petition.
Taking serious note of police`s failure, Division bench
of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Pramod Kode today directed CID
to take over the case. An officer of the Rank of
Superintendent will conduct fresh probe, and submit report to
court by November 29, the next hearing.
Following the request made by advocate Uday Warunjikar,
petitioner`s lawyer, court also stayed the ongoing trial.
Warunjikar expressed apprehension that in the absence of
"star witness" (Archana), trial may result in acquittal.
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