11 Sep 2022 11:20 AM GMT
The Allahabad High Court has issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh Government on a writ plea moved by one Neeraj Dubey against the 'non-serious' Magisterial Inquiry into the custodial of his father in the revenue lock-up in May 2022.The bench of Justice Surya Prakash Kesarwan and Justice Saurabh Srivastava observed that the conduct of the respondents from the District level to the State...
The Allahabad High Court has issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh Government on a writ plea moved by one Neeraj Dubey against the 'non-serious' Magisterial Inquiry into the custodial of his father in the revenue lock-up in May 2022.
The bench of Justice Surya Prakash Kesarwan and Justice Saurabh Srivastava observed that the conduct of the respondents from the District level to the State level prima facie appeared to be gross misconduct and dereliction of duty on one hand and on the other hand gross abuse of power adversely affecting the rule of law.
The case in brief
Pursuant to the recovery certificate forwarded by the Union Bank of India (Branch-Roberstganj, DistrictSonebhadra) for Rs. 10 Lacs against the deceased (Sudhakar Prasad Dubey) who was the Proprietor of Ms Dubey Electronics, Kasba.
Deceased Dubey was arrested on May 12, 2022, by the Collection Amin and the Tehsildar and he was kept in the revenue lock-up Robertsganj till he died on May 19, 2022.
Thereafter, District Magistrate Sonebhadra directed Pramod Kumar Tiwari, Sub Divisional Magistrate (Headquarter) Sonebhadra to conduct an inquiry for ascertaining the reasons for the custodial death.
However, the petitioner alleged that the respondents are totally non-serious about the inquiry and in fact were making every effort to delay and bury the entire matter, therefore, the petitioner submitted representations before the Sub Divisional Magistrate (Headquarter) Sonebhadra, Principal Secretary (Home) Government of U.P., the Director General of Police, Lucknow and Superintendent of Police Sonebhadra supported by affidavit.
The aforesaid representations were followed by another representation dated 15.06.2022 to the Sub Divisional Magistrate (Headquarters) Sonebhadra and a representation dated 20.06.2022 to the District Magistrate, Sonebhadra. Despite the aforesaid representations, neither the inquiry was proceeded with nor any action was taken by the respondents either against the erring officers and employees or for payment of compensation for custodial death.
Though an Additional District Magistrate (Judicial) was later on appointed as the Magistrate to inquire into the matter, however, the ADM (Judicial) also did not take any action, the petitioner alleged.
Therefore, the petitioner (Neeraj Dubey) filed the instant plea seeking a direction to the Nominated Officer/Additional District Magistrate (Judicial) Sonbhadra to make a fair inquiry with respect to the custodial death of his father, ie. Sudhakar Prasad Dubey within a stipulated period. He also sought compensation in this regard.
Perusing the representations, writ plea, and other materials presented before the Court, the Court noted not only gross negligence and illegal acts of the respondents have been referred to, but there has been a total absence of sensitiveness to the inquiry and action to be taken against officers/officials who were prima facie responsible for the custodial death of the aforesaid Sudhakar Prasad Dubey.
The Court also noted that Revenue Lock-up at the Tehsil or Headquarter of the District where the deceased was kept, was not having even basic facilities/amenities required for human beings.
"Facts of the present case prima facie show violation of fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India. More than 3 months have passed, but the authorities from the District Level to the State Level have not shown any sensitiveness to their statutory and constitutional duties...Prima facie such conduct of the respondents needs to be dealt with strictly so that rule of law may prevail. Prima facie, it appears that prevailing situation of Revenue Lock -up at the Tehsil or Headquarter Level of the District needs to be examined and remedial steps needs to be taken by the State Government within a time bound period so as to provide basic amenities in such lock-ups to protect fundamental rights of people under Article 21 of the Constitution of India and to take immediate action against the erring officers and employees so as to show bonafide of the State Government," the Court further remarked
Consequently, the Court directed the respondents to file a counter affidavit by means of the personal affidavit of respondent no. 1 in which they have been asked to show cause in the light of the observations made by the Court. With this, the matter has now been posted for further hearing on September 12, 2022.
Case title - Neeraj Dubey v. State Of U.P. And 5 Others [WRIT - C No. - 26299 of 2022]
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