19 Jun 2021 4:32 AM GMT
The Supreme Court on Friday set aside an order passed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court which had dismissed the petition filed by the father of alleged gangster Jaipal Bhullar, who was allegedly killed in a fake police encounter by Punjab police at Kolkata, seeking directions to the State of Punjab to get a second postmortem examination conducted on his son's dead body. A vacation...
The Supreme Court on Friday set aside an order passed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court which had dismissed the petition filed by the father of alleged gangster Jaipal Bhullar, who was allegedly killed in a fake police encounter by Punjab police at Kolkata, seeking directions to the State of Punjab to get a second postmortem examination conducted on his son's dead body.
A vacation bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and MR Shah requested the High Court of Punjab and Haryana to decide the petition filed by the petitioner on merits on Monday itself ( June 21st). The High Court had dismissed the petition for lack of jurisdiction since the petitioner's son had died in Kolkata, West Bengal, outside its jurisdiction and post-mortem had also been conducted by the doctors of Kolkata.
Taking note of serious allegations against the Punjab Police in the present case and petitioner's allegation that the Punjab Police has resorted to manipulation of the postmortem report, the Bench observed that the High Court erred in dismissing the petition on the ground that the death had occurred and post-mortem had been conducted in Kolkata, West Bengal.
"There are, however, serious allegations against the Punjab police. The Punjab Police is alleged to have been involved in the alleged encounter in which the petitioner's son was killed. The dead body of the petitioner's son has been brought to Punjab and it is presently lying in Punjab. The Punjab Police is in seisin of the case. The petitioner has alleged that the Punjab Police has resorted to manipulation of the post-mortem report." the Bench said
While noting that there are serious issues of human rights involved, the Court also directed the State of Punjab to make necessary arrangements for proper preservation and storage of the dead body in the meanwhile.
During the hearing, Advocate Ishma Randhawa, appearing for the petitioner Bhupinder Singh(Jaipal Bhullar's father), stated that the petitioner was given Instructions to not open dead body as it was chemically treated. However, when he got back to Punjab, he opened the dead body, which had multiple injuries, and is therefore alleging that it is a case of custodial death.
She further urged the Court to direct that the body of the petitioner's son be stored properly, as it is decomposing and the more the body would decompose, the more the evidence against Police would disappear.
Through the present special Leave Petition filed against an order dated 17th June 2021 passed by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, the petitioner father sought directions for post mortem of his son, Jai Pal Singh Bhullar, at PGI, Chandigarh or any other independent medical institution, alleging that his son had mercilessly been tortured to death under the guise of a fake encounter.
According to the petition filed through Advocate Azmat H Amanullah, the petitioner's son was alleged and termed a 'gangster' by the Punjab Police, tortured in custody and killed at the young age of 39 years at the behest of the Police Constabulary.
The petitioner has alleged that his son along with one other, was allegedly killed in an encounter at Kolkata, West Bengal by a team of Punjab Police and the Local Special Task Force on 09 June 2021 when in fact, the severe and horrific injuries on the body of the Petitioner's son later showed that he had been detained and then brutally tortured and killed.
"The Petitioner solicits a re-autopsy find out the truth of his son's death and to dispel his strong suspicion of foul play in the death or murder of his son. It is the firm belief of the Petitioner that his son died due to custodial violence, torture and abuse of police power." the plea stated.
The petitioner has argued that the second postmortem examination is not only aimed at finding the cause of death,but is aimed at addressing other medico-legal issues related to arrest/custody. Even though the son of the Petitioner was suspected to have broken the existing law of the land, the Police Officials had a legal and an ethical duty to safeguard and ensure his human rights, the plea said.
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