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Torture in police custody: Youth gets Rs 50,000 compensation

India on 25 September 2013
Location : Chennai, India | Source : Times of India.

CHENNAI: Holding that victims of police excesses are entitled to compensation as a matter of right, the Madras high court has awarded Rs 50,000 damages to a youth who suffered midnight arrest and third-degree torture at the hands of Minjur, Sholavaram Ponneri police last year.

Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar, acknowledging the injuries and sufferings of G Arun, said: "It is beyond doubt that once human rights violations are established to a person, who is in police custody, the victim is entitled to get compensation as a matter of right." He also directed the home secretary to conduct further inquiry and fix liability of persons who were in charge at the relevant time of arrest and interrogation, and recover the compensation amount proportionally from the erring officials.

Holding that victims of police excesses are entitled to compensation as a matter of right, the Madras high court has awarded Rs 50,000 damages to a youth who suffered midnight arrest and third-degree torture at the hands of Minjur, Sholavaram Ponneri police last year.

Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar, acknowledging the injuries and sufferings of G Arun, said: "It is beyond doubt that once human rights violations are established to a person, who is in police custody, the victim is entitled to get compensation as a matter of right." He also directed the home secretary to conduct further inquiry and fix liability of persons who were in charge at the relevant time of arrest and interrogation, and recover the compensation amount proportionally from the erring officials.

G Barathi had moved the high court saying a group of about eight police personnel barged into her house and picked up her son Arun in the middle of the night on June 16, 2012. According to her, he was kept in illegal confinement in the three police stations, apparently in connection with an unsolved theft case. By the time she came to know about his whereabouts, he had been lodged in the Saidapet sub-jail. She found injury and burn marks all over his body. On inquiry, her son gave her graphic description of how police hung him by a rope and beat him with lathi and rods, and subjected to other forms of third degree torture.

When the matter first came up for admission, Justice K Chandru had summoned the youth to the court and then ordered medical treatment. He also asked the principal district judge of Tiruvallur district judge to hold an inquiry and file a report. Medical report as well as the judicial inquest confirmed torture by police while Arun was in custody.

State public prosecutor S Shanmugavelayutham, however, submitted that police had not assaulted the youth and the injuries/scars on his body were already there prior to his arrest and admission in jail. Arun had not given any complaint to the police or the magistrate during his production in court for remand and extension of remand, he said.

Justice Paul Vasanthakumar rejecting the submissions said: " I am of the view that Arun was assaulted and ill-treated in police custody, due to which he sustained injuries. Directing the amount to be paid to Arun within four weeks, the judge said no further judicial probe was necessary because a district judge-level inquiry had already been completed.

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