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HC asks MM to record statement

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 11 (UNI) The Delhi High Court intervened today on the pleas of parents accusing a woman of kidnapping their daughter.

Justice H R Malhotra ordered Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Savita Rao to record a statement observing, "the MM should record Rati Verma's statement tomorrow in her chamber after 1400 hrs. The woman should be ensured free from any influence".

Rati Verma had approached the MM on April 29 to record her statement denying the allegations of kidnapping levelled by her parents against her senior Marina Behnot.

However, the MM had refused to record the statement in her absence on that day.

Rati Verma's father Naresh Verma represented by Mandeep Singh Vinaik submitted that Marina Behnot, a woman and immediate senior to Rati, had held his daughter captive, not allowing her to keep any communication with them, leave alone coming home.

"She doesn't even pick up our calls. Nor has she come home since last month. We fear for her safety," Mandeep Singh Vinaik submitted.

However, Rati Verma categorically told the court that she had left her home on her own. She stated her resolve not to return to her parents, refuting the allegations of kidnapping against her senior Marina Behnot.

Justice H R Malhotra held parleys with the woman and her parents separately as well as together.

Since she is 21 years old, she is entitled to chose her own way of living, the judge observed.

Marina Behnot has been in hiding, however, prompting the judge to observe, "whosoever is harbouring her is equally responsible for an offence".

Her hide-and-seek has also given rise to suspicion of a foul play in the matter, Mandeep Singh Vinaik submitted.

UNI SSS SHB HT1815

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