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Identify Heirs Of All Those Who Died In Custody Since 2012 For Compensation Purposes: Meghalaya High Court Directs State Govt

Sparsh Upadhyay
4 May 2022 12:41 PM GMT
Identify Heirs Of All Those Who Died In Custody Since 2012 For Compensation Purposes: Meghalaya High Court Directs State Govt
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The Meghalaya High Court on Monday directed the State Government to identify the heirs of all persons who suffered custodial death so that they could be informed about the pendency of proceedings initiated by the Court, suo moto, for the purposes of compensating them.It may be noted that this suo motu public interest litigation was instituted by the HC following an order of the Supreme Court...

The Meghalaya High Court on Monday directed the State Government to identify the heirs of all persons who suffered custodial death so that they could be informed about the pendency of proceedings initiated by the Court, suo moto, for the purposes of compensating them.

It may be noted that this suo motu public interest litigation was instituted by the HC following an order of the Supreme Court of September 15, 2017 [In Re-Inhuman Conditions in 1382 Prisons], to identify the next of kin of prisoners who had died an unnatural death from the period of 2012, so that such relatives can be awarded suitable compensation unless they have already been compensated.

The order of the Supreme Court requires identification and award of compensation in deserving cases within a reasonable time.

Pursuant to the Court's earlier orders, an affidavit containing the complete list of persons who have died in custody since 2012 was filed before the Court by the State Authorities. However, the Amicus Curiae informed the Court that several names were still missing from the State's list of custodial deaths from the year 2012.

In view of this, the bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Hamarsan Singh Thangkhiew asked Dr. N. Mozika, the Amicus Curi, and Adv. K. Khan, appearing for the State to finalize all the names and, upon obtaining the NCRB distinction and tabulate the nature of death in each case pertaining to the custodial deaths in the State since 2012.

In the meantime, the State has been asked to identify the heirs of all persons who suffered custodial death during the relevant period and inform such heirs regarding the pendency of the present proceedings.

"Such heirs and legal representatives of the persons who died in custody will be formally added as parties at a later stage but they must be made aware of the present proceedings. This will also help in the exercise of reaching compensation, if any, to such heirs upon the quantum thereof being decided in course of the present proceedings," the Court added.

With this, the matter was list for further hearing on May 31, 2022. Read here to know what transpired in the previous hearing of he matter.

Case title - In Re suo motu custodial violence & other matters relating to prison conditions V. State of Meghalaya & Ors.

Click Here To Read/Download Order

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