The Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed the state government to pay a compensation of Rs 2.5 lakh each to two persons who were falsely implicated in connection with two separate Abkari cases few years ago by the state Excise officials.

They were arrested and were in confinement for more than 50 days in relation to the two cases. The investigating agency later found that they were innocent and exonerated them by filing reports before the lower court.

In his Judgment, Justice P V Kunhikrishnan has directed the government to pay the compensation amount of Rs 2,50,000 each to the persons, who had moved a plea before the Court seeking remedies for the illegal arrest and detention, within a period of two months.

The Court directed the state to recover the amount from the people responsible for the illegal arrest and detention of the petitioners after giving them an opportunity of hearing.

Further, it also ordered the state government to conduct a study/enquiry about the search, seizure, arrest and investigation made in Abkari cases for the last five years by appointing an appropriate person and submit the action taken report before the Court within six months.

While disposing of the petitions, the Court observed that if an abkari officer is having enmity with a person, he can easily implicate that person as an accused if there is a bottle and small quantity of illicit liquor.

"These two cases are the classic examples in which two innocent citizens were implicated falsely in an Abkari case", the Court said.

If a study is conducted in the disposed cases in Abkari matters, it can be seen that in 70 per cent to 90 per cent of cases, the independent witnesses are turned hostile, it said.

Click here to read/download Judgment

With PTI inputs