The Patna High Court has ordered the State government to pay a compensation of Rs. 2 lakh to an individual who suffered severe torture and assault while in police custody.

Justice Bibek Chaudhuri highlighted the significance of Section 106 of the Evidence Act, placing the burden of proof on the police personnel regarding the custodial violence inflicted upon the victim.

The Court directed the Officer-in-Charge, lock-up in-charge, and all other police officers on duty at Siwan Muffasil Police Station on July 4, 2017, between 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM, to provide information on the assault suffered by the Petitioner's son in police custody. It clarified that failure to do so would result in potential prosecution for the officers involved.

Additionally, the Superintendent of Police, Siwan, has been directed to file a complaint against the implicated police personnel under appropriate legal provisions for their involvement in custodial violence. These directives were issued in response to a Criminal Writ Petition filed by the victim's father, alleging police brutality against his son.

"Thus, applying the provision of Section 106 of the Indian Evidence Act, this Court comes to the conclusion that the Officer-in-charge, lock up in-charge and all other police officers and personnel who were on duty on 4th of July, 2017 from 2 P.M to 5 P.M. are responsible to state how and by whom the son of the petitioner was assaulted in the police lock up of Siwan Muffasil Police Station. On their failure to provide such information, they are liable to be prosecuted. The Respondent No. 5 shall lodge a complaint against the Officer-in-Charge and all police officers as well as the lock up in-charge of Siwan Muffasil Police Station under appropriate penal provisions for custodial violence and atrocities perpetrated upon the son of the petitioner," the Court said.

The Petitioner detailed how his son was unlawfully apprehended and subjected to physical abuse, including beatings with a lathi and severe injuries. The victim, arrested on July 4, 2017, in connection with criminal charges, was reportedly assaulted while in police custody at Siwan Muffasil Police Station. Despite complaints lodged by the victim, no action was taken by the authorities, leading the High Court to intervene in the matter.

The Court emphasized the gravity of custodial violence, citing the landmark case of State of M.P. v. Shyamsunder Trivedi & Ors. (1995), which underscored the heinous nature of such crimes and their detrimental impact on society. The Court quoted from the Judgment, "The Courts must not lose sight of the fact that death in police custody is perhaps one of the worst kind of crimes in a civilised society, governed by the rule of law and poses a serious threat to an orderly civilised society. Torture in custody flouts the basic rights of the citizens recognised by the Indian Constitution and is an affront to human dignity. Police excesses and the maltreatment of detainees/undertrial prisoners or suspects tarnishes the image of any civilised nation and encourages the men in ‘Khaki’ to consider themselves to be above the law and sometimes even to become law unto themselves.”

Referring to this precedent, the Court underscored that custodial torture violates fundamental rights enshrined in the Indian Constitution and erodes the dignity of individuals. Such acts tarnish the reputation of law enforcement agencies and undermine the rule of law, necessitating stringent measures to address and prevent such abuses.

In light of these principles, the court ordered the payment of ₹2 lakh compensation to the victim and directed the filing of a formal complaint against the responsible police officials. This decision underscores the judiciary's commitment to upholding justice and ensuring accountability in cases of custodial violence.

"..due to such custodial violence and police atrocity, the Department of Police under the Home Department shall pay compensation of Rs. 2 lakh to the son of the petitioner within four weeks from the date of this order. The order of payment of compensation shall be executed by the Principal Secretary, Department of Home, Government of Bihar," the Court said in its Order dated April 23.

With the aforesaid, directions, the Court disposed of the Writ Petition.

Cause Title: Dinesh Kumar Singh v. The State of Bihar & Ors.


Petitioner: Advocates Shama Sinha, Asmita, Shreya

Respondent: Advocate Prabhat Kumar Verma

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