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Police Atrocity in the guise of interrogation: Jharkhand HC initiates suo motu proceedings [Read Order]

S.Nikhil Sankar
20 Jun 2016 9:08 AM GMT
Police Atrocity in the guise of interrogation: Jharkhand HC initiates suo motu proceedings [Read Order]
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Court also directed the State to pay a compensation of Rs 50,000 to the father of the victim minor girl on or before next date of posting i.e 22/06/16.

The High Court of Jharkhand, has initiated suo motu proceedings against the state police machinery and others concerned, into an incident pertaining to police atrocity committed on a minor in the guise of an alleged interrogation.

Chief Justice of Jharkhand, Justice Virender Singh,in an extra ordinary proceedings held on Sunday, took cognizance on  the above matter pursuant to  an news item which appeared in Hindusthan Times, a National daily, in its Ranchi edition in this context. The facts which caught the attention of the court were as follows:-A minor girl was taken into police custody, by the A.S.I of Manika Police Station, Latehar, on 14/06/16, in an alleged incident, over the elopement another girl from her village with a boy. She was subjected to inhuman torture during whole day, whilst her parents were made to wait outside the station for almost 10 hours. According to the parents, the minor lost consciousness when handed over to them. The girl’s parents have stated that the girl revealed to them, that she was beaten and throttled by the police officer during interrogation. According to the parents neither they nor any woman police officer was present during interrogation. The girl has now been admitted to a hospital .

Taking suo motu cognizance of the above matter and treating it as Public Interest Litigation,the High Court of Jharkhand has directed the respondents :- 1) The State of Jharkhand through the Chief Secretary, Jharkhand;  2) The Principal Secretary, Department of Health, Medical Education & Family Welfare, Government of Jharkhand, Nepal House, Doranda, Ranchi. 3) The Director General of Police, Jharkhand, Ranchi; 4) The Dy. Commissioner, Latehar 5) The Superintendent of Police, Latehar; to file their counter affidavits with regard to acknowledge this court about the cause of accident, measures, both interim and final, that are being taken for preventing the similar accident in future, and about the persons who are responsible for the above accident and the steps which has been taken against them.

The Court in its detailed order, observed that the officer who had taken the minor into custody, had not followed the mandate of conducting investigation, contained in Section 160 Cr.P.C . The Court further noted that the statutory requisite of Section 75 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children Act)2015,have not been adhered to in the instant case.

The court mooted the need, to sensitize the police on the matters pertaining to child rights, protection, and juvenile in conflict with law as per Section 10 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children Act)2015, with due regard to  the growing incidence of torture and  deaths in police custody as noted by apex court in D.K Basu’s case.

The court termed the need to sensitize the  police on juvenile matters as the need of the hour and directed the Jhalsa(Jharkhand Legal Services Authority)to take up the issue on a priority basis.

The court further directed:- “The Deputy Commissioner, Latehar is directed to submit a detailed report to this Court on or before the next date, i.e., the 22nd June, 2016 (Wednesday) by 10.30 a.m. positively incorporating all the steps taken by the administration to alleviate the suffering of the minor girl victim of inhuman torture subjected by the police officer regarding which news has been published in the Daily Newspaper “Hindustan Times” in its Ranchi Edition dated 19th June, 2016 and further steps, if any, contemplated by the District Administration in this respect. The Respondents are directed to take all the steps which are necessary for proper treatment of the minor girl for giving proper assistance to the parents of the minor girl. The Member Secretary, JHALSA, is also directed to coordinate with the district administration and oversee into the matter from all aspects in accordance with law.”    

The State of Jharkhand in the meanwhile has been directed to pay a compensation of Rs 50,000 to the father of the victim minor girl on or before next date of posting i.e 22/06/16.

Read the Order here.

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