Madras High Court directs State to pay Rs. 1 Lakh compensation to family of a man, missing since he was taken from his house for Covid-19 treatment

Madras High Court


Madras High Court: In a Habeas Corpus petition praying to direct the police to produce the body of the petitioner’s father (corpus) before this Court and set him at liberty, the division bench of P.N Prakash and N.Anand Venkatesh has directed the State to pay Rs. 1,00,000/- as compensation to the family of the corpus within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of the copy of this order.

In the case at hand, the petitioner gave a complaint saying that the whereabouts of his father were not known to the family after he was taken from his house for Covid-19 treatment.

The Court said that it cannot fix the blame on any single officer for the lapse, as they appreciate the fact that the State and the Greater Chennai Corporation were doing their best to fight the Covid-19 war. However, the Inspector should have registered a regular first information report (‘FIR’) of ‘man-missing’ when the complaint was given to him, instead, the family was made to run from pillar to post and ultimately, after great persuasion, the FIR was registered.

Further, it said that there is sufficient force in the grievance ventilated by the family of the corpus, that if the police had acted with readiness, it would have been able to trace the corpus.

The Court directed the police inspector to continue with the investigation and take effective steps to find the whereabouts of the missing person. Further, directed the police to take note of the guidelines issued by this Court in K. Sukumari v. Superintendent of Police, Virudhunagar District, 2018 (2) LW (Crl) 636, since the pending FIR pertains to a missing person.

[Thulasidass Adikesavan v. Inspector of Police, 2022 SCC OnLine Mad 5911, 19-12-2022]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

A. Yogeshwaran, Advocate, for the Petitioner;

R. Muniyapparaj, Government Advocate, for the Respondents.

*Apoorva Goel, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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