21 Dec 2022 6:34 AM GMT
An inquiry report submitted by a judicial officer before the Punjab and Haryana High Court has confirmed that Haryana Police kept activist Shiv Kumar in illegal confinement and also badly tortured him last year."It is held that allegations of illegal confinement and custodial torture of Shiv Kumar are duly proved on record," Inquiry Officer Deepak Gupta said in a report placed before...
An inquiry report submitted by a judicial officer before the Punjab and Haryana High Court has confirmed that Haryana Police kept activist Shiv Kumar in illegal confinement and also badly tortured him last year.
"It is held that allegations of illegal confinement and custodial torture of Shiv Kumar are duly proved on record," Inquiry Officer Deepak Gupta said in a report placed before the court.
The counsel representing the Haryana government on December 14 sought time to address arguments on the report.
"Inquiry report dated 01.07.2022 of District and Sessions Judge, Panchkula, is taken on record. Registry is directed to tag the same at an appropriate place. Learned State counsel prays for accommodation to address the arguments. Adjourned to 27.01.2023," Justice Jagmohan Bansal said in the order.
Kumar, a labour leader, was arrested last year by Haryana Police in connection with the protest held by labourers outside the premises of a factory in Kundli. Activist Naudeep Kaur was also arrested in the same case.
Kaur and others were protesting outside the factory premises on January 12 last year regarding non-payment of wages to some of the labourers. According to the State, the protest turned violent, police officials were attacked and in the process injuries were inflicted to police personnel.
Gupta, who was District and Sessions Judge in Haryana's Panchkula at the time of submission of report, in the report said Kumar was "actually lifted" by the police on January 16 last year and was kept in illegal confinement till January 23, 2021 - the day when he was shown to have been formally arrested at about 8:40 PM.
"During the illegal police confinement from 16.01.2021 to 23.01.2021; and then his confinement from the night intervening of 23/24.01.2021 till 02.02.2021 as authorised by learned Magistrate by granting police remand, Shiv Kumar was badly tortured by the police, causing numerous injuries on various parts of his body including fractures," Gupta said in the report.
The Inquiry Officer further said that although prior to his medical examination on February 20, 2021 at Government Medical College & Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, Kumar was examined as many as five times between January 24 and February 02, 2021 "but none of the doctors of the Government Hospital, Sonepat or the doctor deputed in jail performed their duty and they apparently danced to the tune of the police officials".
Gupta further said even the JMIC Vinay Kakran appears to have not performed his duty as was required. "It appears that either Shiv Kumar was not physically produced before the Magistrate and was made to sit outside in the police vehicle; or if produced, he was not in a position to speak anything to the Magistrate due to the threats given by the police," the report reads, adding that had the magistrate seen Kumar in person, he could have noticed the injuries on his body.
The inquiry report holds SI Shasmher Singh, who was Additional SHO of Kundli Police Station, "directly responsible" for the torture along with other cops associated with him. It further states that Inspector Ravi, who was the SHO, cannot escape from responsibility by "making a denial".
Gupta has further named Inspector Ravinder, the in-charge CIA Sonepat, where Kumar was allegedly kept in illegal confinement. Ravinder in his statement has denied that Kumar was brought to the premises of CIA staff.
Kumar's father Rajbir had last year filed a petition before the court seeking transfer of three FIRs registered at Kundli police station to an independent agency and probe into the illegal detention and torture of his son by the police. He is represented by Senior Advocate R.S Cheema, Advocate Arshdeep Cheema and Advocate Harinder Bains.
In March 2021, the court directed Gupta, who was then District & Sessions Judge Faridabad, to hold an inquiry with regard to the allegations. Gupta is currently a judge of the high court.
A total of 15 witnesses were examined during the inquiry.
"Part-III of Constitution of India, deals with Fundamental Rights. Article 21 guarantees protection to life and personal liberty. Life and liberty of no person can be deprived except as per the procedure established by law. In a democratic set up, there cannot be even a thought for compromising the life and liberty of the citizen," the court had said, while ordering the inquiry.