Jharkhand High Court:  The bench comprising of Vijender Singh C.J. and Chandrashekhar J. taking suo moto cognizance of the cruelty meted out by the police resulting in the death of a 16-year-old boy,  instituted a Public Interest Litigation against the State and its official. The Court also directed a compensation of Rs. 1 lakh be paid to the father of the deceased and highlighted the urgent need for sensitization programs for the police.

The Court observed that the 16-year-old had died in police custody on 7th July, 2016 after being called by the police for the purpose of investigation. The incident had been reported widely in the local newspapers. It had been reported that Rupesh had been detained on suspicion of keeping illegal arms, the charge was denied by his relatives. The family had visited Rajendra Institute of Medical Science, Ranchi (RIMS) when they came to know that Rupesh had been admitted there, where they had found his dead body. At the hospital, the family protested against the police’s behavior forcing the Ranchi SSP to suspend the officer in charge of the police stations and order inquiry in the alleged custodial death.

The Court observed a similar incident had taken place in June, 2016 where a minor girl subjected to torture by the police had gone unconscious and remained admitted in RIMS for few days. The Court had taken suo moto cognizance of the same in W.P. (PIL) No. 3134 of 2016 and had directed compensation to be paid by the State of the father of the girl.

The Court referred to the stand taken by the Court in the case of the custodial torture of the minor girl and highlighted the need for sensitization programs for the police to help them understand the Juvenile Justice System. The Court in its considered view held that imparting training to the police was required as the earliest so as to avoid such incidents in the future as these are serious matters of human right violations.

The Court instituted proceeding against the State and its officials by way of a PIL, and directed the Deputy Commissioner to submit a detailed report, incorporating all the steps taken by the administration to alleviate the suffering of the deceased minor boy and further steps contemplated by the District Administration in this regard. Further, the Court directed the State to pay a sum of Rs. 1 lakh to the father of the deceased minor boy, without prejudice to another right or remedies of the family in any other proceedings. The PIL was directed to be listed for hearing on 27th July, along with W.P. (PIL) No. 3134 of 2016. [Court of its own Motion v. State of Jharkhand,  2016 SCC OnLine Jhar 1957 decided on 20th July, 2016]

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