Prosecution of an Innocent Man for Rape and Murder violates his Human Rights and he is entitled to Compensation; Punjab & Haryana HC [Read Judgment]

Prosecution of an Innocent Man for Rape and Murder violates his Human Rights and he is entitled to Compensation; Punjab & Haryana HC [Read Judgment]

Punjab and Haryana High Court came down heavily on Haryana’s Director General of Police (Human Rights) Anant Kumar Dhull while dismissing his review petition against a Judgment rendered by the High Court awarding compensation to victims of false prosecution for rape and murder.

The Court held that the false imputation of rape and murder and consequential incarceration constitute humiliation to whole family and violation of human rights

Justice Kannan had ordered compensation of 5 Lakhs to a person who was falsely charged of rape of his own daughter who died subsequently. Thereafter the State and the Police Chief filed the review on the ground that a compensation for personal injury and humiliation is in the nature of personal damages which cannot survive to the legal representatives in terms of Section 306 of the Indian Succession Act.

The Court described the case as follows “police investigation that lead to an innocent man being prosecuted, a grim reminder of injustice to the classic illustration of Kafka's Trial, but with a les unfortunate twist in this case. The man was saved at the trial, thanks to the court's intervention but only after being burdened by the immense public revulsion of a charge of rape of his own daughter.”

The Court observed that Section 306 of Indian Succession Act limits against survival of causes only to non-pecuniary head of claim arising out of defamation, malicious prosecution and personal injury. The limitation cannot apply to human right violation and damages assessed for it. Indeed the legislative intent of Section 306 of Indian Succession Act itself is restricted to what the Section recognizes as when 'the relief could not be enjoyed or granting it would be nugatory.' Here, far from rendering the relief inefficacious, the grant of compensation to the members of the family is a triumph of justice over human rights violation practised by State functionaries, Justice Kannan observed.

Dismissing the review petition filed by the then Superintendent of Police who was held liable to pay compensation, the court observed “It cannot be a situation of no one being responsible for falsely prosecuting an innocent man and heaping insults on him. If somebody must take the blame, the Superintendent of Police justly ought to take that blame. He must have had his own head hung in shame for what had happened. This was verily an occasion for atonement. It is a pity that he still does not feel that way and looks for a scapegoat for the himalayan blunder. I shall grant him no relief from the judicial abomination already administered”.

Read the Judgment here.