The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed police to seriously take the complaints of newly-wed couples who apprehend threat to life in order to check honour killings.
The court was hearing a plea of Lalit Vats, whose wife Deepti Chikara was killed by her brother, mother and uncle allegedly for family honour.
Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice S.P. Garg asked the commissioner of Delhi Police to take the complaints of newly-wed couples seriously and take proper measures.
On Vats’ plea, the court said that the deputy commissioner of police (DCP) should look into the complaint of newly-wed couple and ordered a change in the investigating officer (IO) of the case.
Vats alleged that the investing officer did not take his complaint seriously and avoided a fair investigation.
The court asked the DCP to provide protection to Vats and file a status report within six weeks.
Deepti, who taught at a primary school in Sultanpuri in north Delhi, married Vats Feb 23 against her family’s wish as she and Vats belonged to different castes.
Deepti had married another man in December 2011 under family pressure, but left him soon after to marry Vats.
Vats said he last spoke to Deepti on phone April 19 and after that day, she went missing. On April 23, Vats filed a complaint with police.
The petition alleged that the missing person’s details about Deepti were uploaded on ZIPNET (zonal integrated police network), May 25, after a delay of almost one month.
He sent an email to the police commissioner May 18 that he suspected something wrong had happened to his wife.
“After not getting any response from him, I moved an application in the high court on June 6. After that, the first information report (FIR) was registered and police started questioning the family. Before that, they kept harassing me, saying I had kidnapped her,” he said.
Vats, who works as a data entry operator, filed an application in the court and sought directions to police to make a thorough investigation.
Police presented in the court a status report, saying Deepti’s brother Mohit and mother Veermati had been arrested.
Deepti’s body was found in a canal near Haridwar in Uttarakhand. Her body parts were sent for identification through DNA test, police said.