Lekha G –
The Allahabad High Court directed the Uttar Pradesh Government to file counter affidavit in response to a habeas corpus writ petition seeking production of Mani Lal Patidar, an IPS officer as he has been missing since November 2020.
The petition filed by Dr. Mukut Nath Verma also urged the Court to direct a probe into the matter by the Central Bureau Investigation (CBI).
The petition stated that Mani Lal Patidar conducting operations against the mining mafia was about to reveal some foul play in the administration as a result his life could be in danger and that there were also chances of him being held in unlawful custody by the respondents.
It was also further stated that Patidar failed to meet his lawyer on November 27, 2020 in connection with certain pending legal matters as decided and that he was also falsely implicated in few cases due to his sour relations with certain sections of the administration.
The Additional Advocate General submitted that Patidar had filed anticipatory bail application in the Court but was subsequently rejected and since then was in touch with various councils representing him to press his prayer for the said bail.
The Court contended the matter must be investigated to find out if Patidar is dead or alive and “It would be important to ascertain as to what steps were taken by the administration including the investigating agency to apprehend him, particularly, when, on the own showing of the respondents, his anticipatory bail applications were rejected.”
The Court also directed the affidavit must include if any coercive steps were taken such as under Section 82/83 CrPC to secure arrest of Patidar and if surveillance was placed on his mobile number to track his last location.