Delhi HC delivers justice against protectors of law and society, ‘the men in khaki’

Delhi High Court: In the order passed by S. Murlidhar, I.S. Mehta, JJ., for the six appeals arising from FIR No. 231 of 1995 registered under Sections 365/302/395/452/34 IPC . The appellants were charged and convicted under Sections 452/365 and 302 read with Section 34 of Penal Code by the learned Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ), Karkardooma, Delhi in Sessions Case No. 50 of 2000.

Apparently on the night of commission of the crime, the accused on the grounds of information that the appellant’s husband was indulged in robbery and illegal weapon business set up a raid on the appellant’s house and upon finding the suspected person, got him severely beaten up and then took him to the Special Staff Office for further torture which led to the victims’ serious health condition, and he later succumbed to death due to the injuries. The medical reports after the post-mortem and medical literature established a direct connection between the ‘infarcts’ which caused the death of victim and the injuries inflicted upon by the police officer when in custody.

The Court observed that, according to Section 114B of Evidence Act which states that “when a person sustains injury during police custody, it is presumed that those injuries have been inflicted by the police and the burden of proof shall lie on the authority concerned to explain such injury”.

The authority thus failing to prove as abovementioned, led the Courts’ decision not in favour of the police. Hence, The Court in support of the medical reports and the statements of trusted and reliable witnesses, came to the conclusion that the police officers went out of law while performing their duty and therefore would not be granted the defence of sovereign immunity and hence were booked for the stated charges. Furthermore, the Court held that even though the prosecution has proved the culpability of the accused for the homicidal death but at the same time has failed to precisely point out which of the accused has caused the fatal injuries, thus the Court consequently converted the offences under Section 302/34 to Section 304 Part II read with Section 34 IPC. [Avinash Kumar v. State, 2017 SCC OnLine Del 12163, order dated 14.12.2017]

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