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Custodial Violence Unacceptable In Civilized Society: Supreme Court Rejects Plea Of Police Officers Seeking Compounding In View Of Settlement

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
12 Feb 2021 9:02 AM GMT
Custodial Violence Unacceptable In Civilized Society: Supreme Court Rejects Plea Of Police Officers Seeking Compounding In View Of Settlement
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The Supreme Court refused the plea seeking compounding of offences of two police officers accused in a custodial violence case.Though considering their age, the sentence was reduced, the bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and Ajay Rastogi enhanced the compensation to to Rs.3.5 lacs each in addition to compensation awarded by the High Court to be paid to the legal heirs of the...

The Supreme Court refused the plea seeking compounding of offences of two police officers accused in a custodial violence case.

Though considering their age, the sentence was reduced, the bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and Ajay Rastogi enhanced the compensation to to Rs.3.5 lacs each in addition to compensation awarded by the High Court to be paid to the legal heirs of the deceased.

Pravat Chandra Mohanty and Pratap Kumar Chaudhary were convicted under Section 324 of the Indian Penal Code. It was found that both the accused 'mercilessly beaten the deceased in the premises of the Police Station. This incident occurred in the year 1985. Before the Apex Court where they challenged their conviction, the accused made a prayer to compound the offence in view of the settlement reached between them and the legal heirs of the deceased. 

In appeal, the court observed that the offence committed by the accused is crime not against the deceased alone but was against humanity and clear violations of rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

"Present is a case where the offence was committed by the in-charge of the Police Station, Purighat, as well as the Senior Inspector, posted at the same Police Station. The Police of State is protector of law and order. The people look forward to the Police to protect their life and property. People go to the Police Station with the hope that their person and property will be protected by the police and injustice and offence committed on them shall be redressed and the guilty be punished. When the protector of people and society himself instead of protecting the people adopts brutality and inhumanly beat the person who comes to the police station, it is a matter of great public concern...


...The beating of a person in the Police Station is the concern for all and causes a sense of fear in the entire society...The custodial violence on the deceased which led to the death is abhorrent and not acceptable in the civilized society.", the bench noted.

The court observed that the composition of the offence in the facts of the present case is not permissible only on the agreement on the request of the accused - appellant which may be also accepted by the legal heirs of the deceased but composition is permissible only by the leave of the Court. However, taking note of the fact that they are aged above 75 years, the bench reduced the sentence awarded for conviction under Section 324 IPC to six months instead of one year.

CASE: PRAVAT CHANDRA MOHANTY vs. STATE OF ODISHA [CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 125 OF 2021]
CORAM: Justices Ashok Bhushan and Ajay Rastogi
COUNSEL: Sr. Adv R. Basant,  Sr. Adv Yasobant Das, Adv Ravi Prakash Mehrotra, Adv Priyanka Vora
CITATION: LL 2021 SC 80
 

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