25 Sep 2022 3:13 PM GMT
The Tripura High court recently directed the State Government to pay a sum of Rs. 2,50,000/- to a 28-year-old woman who was subjected to custodial torture in October 2021.The bench of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice S. G. Chattopadhyay was dealing with a suo moto case instituted by the High Court on a news report regarding the custodial torture inflicted on one Priyashi...
The Tripura High court recently directed the State Government to pay a sum of Rs. 2,50,000/- to a 28-year-old woman who was subjected to custodial torture in October 2021.
The bench of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice S. G. Chattopadhyay was dealing with a suo moto case instituted by the High Court on a news report regarding the custodial torture inflicted on one Priyashi Datta (Debnath).
The case in brief
Before the Court, the State-counsel had contended that there was no proof of custodial torture on the victim in police lockup. It was argued that she was called to the Police station for interrogation in connection with a theft case and during interrogation, she fell ill for which, she was taken to AGMC and GBP hospital where she was given adequate medical treatment. The State counsel submits that the newspaper report about the custodial torture of the woman in police lockup is not true.
On the other hand, the amicus curiae submitted that as per the statement of the victim, she was called to the police station on the basis of a false and unverified allegation of theft, and therein she was physically tortured in the name of interrogation
It was further submitted that as per the medical report of the Medical Superintendent, AGMC and GBP hospital, Agartala, it has been clearly stated that abrasions were found over both buttocks of the victim after she was brought to the hospital on 26.10.2021 with a history of physical assault.
Consequently, Amicus argued that the materials available on record are sufficient to establish the fact that the victim woman was beaten in police custody, as a result of which, she suffered those injuries, and thus, it was urged that she be provided with adequate compensation besides issuing other directions as the Court may deem fit and appropriate.
Against this backdrop, taking into account the facts and circumstances presented before it, the Court concluded that merely on the basis of telephonic information received from a neighbor of the victim about her involvement in a theft case, police called her to the police station even without registering a case and without verifying the facts.
The Court further noted that from the medical reports available on record, it was established that she was physically assaulted during interrogation in police custody. The Court also stressed how the police officers are under obligation to protect the human rights of a person in custody and prevent all forms of atrocities against him/her.
The Court further observed that the victim was not formally arrested by police but, undisputedly, she was detained in police custody for a considerable period of time for the purpose of interrogation, and therefore, she was entitled to all the safeguards provided under the guidelines issued in the case of D. K. Basu vs. State of West Bengal (1997) 1 SCC 416, however, she was deprived of those safeguards and she was tortured and maltreated in police custody.
Consequently, the Court found the victim to be entitled to monetary compensation for the wrongs done to her and directed the State-respondents to pay a sum of Rs.2,50,000/- (Two Lakh Fifty Thousand) to the victim Priyashi Datta (Debnath).
Case title - Court on its own motion v. The State of Tripura and others [WP(C) (PIL) No.25 of 2021]
Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Tri) 39
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