In an unprecedented order, Gujarat High Court has directed a man to pay 50 percent of the cost that was incurred by the state government to trace the woman with whom he had eloped. The police has been searching for the woman for over seven months.
Raghabhai Parmar who is in his late 20s, eloped with a woman from Rajkot city in May 2021.
After being unable to find his daughter, the woman’s father approached Gujarat High Court. The police launched a search operation which lasted for over seven months. After the police traced and returned the woman to her parents, it was also found that the man was already married.
The High Court bench decided to recover the cost from the man which was incurred to trace and bring the woman back.
The court was informed that the police had invested 17,170 hours during the seven-month long search operation which also included 19 days of inquiry. A total of Rs 42,500 was spent.
The court added that the total amount spent on bringing the woman back to her family was Rs 1,117,500.
The recovery order was also issued to punish the man for exploiting the woman despite being married.
The father of the woman submitted that he had personally spent Rs 8.06 lakh to trace his daughter. The court has allowed the father to approach an appropriate court to claim the damages.
“Though we could have although directed the entire amount to be paid by the petitioner, we deem it appropriate to direct 50% of the said amount which shall be sum of Rs 55,000,” the bench said.
The bench has directed Raghabhai to deposit the amount with the High Court Registry. The court added that if he failed to do so, then the court might initiate contempt proceedings against him. The amount will be deposited to the Police Welfare Fund, Rajkot City.