The Bombay High Court today rebuked the city police for its "casual" probe into an alleged sex and drug racket and asked it to lodge a criminal case against the 'cult' group Shifu Sunkriti and its founder Sunil Kulkarni.
A bench of justices R V More and Anuja Prabhudessai gave the directions while hearing a plea by a city couple alleging that their two daughters, aged 23 and 21, had been ensnared by the cult group Shifu Sunkriti, which operated on social media, and its founder Kulkarni.
The parents claimed they approached the police repeatedly since December last year to seek action against the cult group but in vain.
The bench after perusing the facts of the case asked as to why the police has failed to act upon the parents' complaint and why no FIR was registered.
Additional Public Prosecutor Sangeeta Shinde told the court that the police was conducting an inquiry into the case and was taking steps to trace the accused.
The court got irked with this and said the first thing the police should do is to lodge an FIR in the case.
"First thing the police needs to do is to lodge FIR and then trace the accused. All this should be stopped. If the police is unable to take appropriate action, we will ask the CID or the CBI to step in and take over the probe," Justice More said.
"You are giving them (accused persons) too much time. The parents approached the police in December last year for the first time and till April the police has done nothing. You (police) should have taken immediate action," the court said.
"How can the police take such serious cases so casually? It is very unfortunate that the police is not taking this seriously. What steps have you (police) taken to trace the accused? The police has let him (accused) go scotfree till now despite knowing fully well what his antecedents are," Justice Prabhudessai said.
"We are not at all satisfied with the police investigation. It shows a very sorry state of affairs. The police cannot express helplessness in such serious cases. It is apparently a sex and drugs racket and police is taking it very lightly knowing fully well that several girls and boys are trapped," the court said.
The court has now posted the matter for further hearing on April 25.
According to the parents, their daughters left home early this year allegedly under the influence of Kulkarni and his group.
The petition alleged Shifu Sunkriti was a "sex and drug racket" that contacts young girls on Facebook and other social networking sites.