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Compensation For Nepali Man In Prison For Over 41 Years: Calcutta High Court Seeks State's Response

Sparsh Upadhyay
22 March 2021 4:21 PM GMT
Compensation For Nepali Man In Prison For Over 41 Years: Calcutta High Court Seeks States Response
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Dealing with the case of a Nepali man who was arrested about 41 years ago and since then he had been under detention and was released recently, the Calcutta High Court on Monday (22nd March) asked the State Government to submit its response on providing him compensation/damages. The Bench of Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice Aniruddha Roy also directed the West...

Dealing with the case of a Nepali man who was arrested about 41 years ago and since then he had been under detention and was released recently, the Calcutta High Court on Monday (22nd March) asked the State Government to submit its response on providing him compensation/damages.

The Bench of Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice Aniruddha Roy also directed the West Bengal Police to collect details from all the correctional homes in the State of West Bengal regarding the undertrials, who are unfit to stand trial as of now, in terms of Chapter XXV of the Cr.P.C.

The Court directed the Additional Director General and Inspector-General of Police, Correctional Services, West Bengal Police to file (by 25th March 2021),

"The Status report of UTPs who are eligible for release under Sections 436 and 436A of the Cr.P.C. shall also be separately available."

Background

The bench was hearing the case of one Dipak Joshi, who was arrested on 12th May 1980 and has already undergone a period of more than 40 years in custody.

Nepali Man In Custody For 40 Years: Calcutta High Court To Examine If The Prosecution Be Terminated In Suo Moto Proceedings

On the basis of the materials on record, the Court had observed that after the assessment of his mental status (sometime in January 1982) when he was found to be not mentally fit to stand trial, there had been no contrary report at any point of time even as of now before the Court of Session where the case is pending trial.

Thus, in the exercise of authority under Section 482 of Cr.P.C. and Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India, the Court ordered his release after noting,

"In the aforesaid view of the matter, we do not see that any useful purpose will subserve the ends of justice by continuing to detain UTP Dipak Joshi @ Jaisi @ Jaishi in the Correctional Home."

Significantly, the Counsel for the Nepal Consulate submitted that following earlier orders, the Nepali Man- Dipak Joshi was released from Dum Dum Central Correctional Home and was accompanied by his relative and an officer of the Nepal Consulate and accordingly, Dipak Joshi had been delivered to his home where now, he is accompanied by his mother who is more than 90 years of age.

The Court was also apprised that Joshi and his family members are economically marginalized and also face social challenges on account of the detention and continued incarceration of Dipak Joshi.

To this, the Court observed,

"The detention of Dipak Joshi for about 41 years or so, that too without trial and also without resorting to other due proceedings, prompt us to consider whether he is to be supported with an order of compensation or damages, as against the State."

Thus, finding it appropriate, the Court directed the State Government to look into the issue as to whether an order of compensation or damages, as against the State could be passed.

The Court notified this to the Advocate General on behalf of the State so that requisite response on this matter can be placed by the learned Advocate General.

"We are sure that the State will look at it from a proactive and pragmatic view", added the Court.

Case title - The Court on its own Motion: In re : UTP Dipak Joshi, lodged in Dum Dum Central Correctional Home [W.P.A. (P) 27 of 2021]

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