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Govt in the dock over death in custody

- Rights panel pulls up state machinery

The State Human Rights Commission, Bihar, on Tuesday directed the state government to pay Rs 3 lakh as compensation within six weeks to the family of a person who died in police custody in Patna.

“Justice demands that they be paid monetary compensation for the custodial death of the deceased. In the facts and circumstances, the commission would award compensation of Rs 3 lakh to the victim family represented by widow of the deceased, if any, or the sons,” commission chairperson Justice (retired) S.N. Jha said in his order.

The commission said the amount should be paid by the state government at the first instance with liberty to recover the same from the delinquent police officers.

Salman Khan, a resident of Bagahi village under the jurisdiction of Bihia police station of Bhojpur, was detained by Maner police (Patna district) at 3am on June 13, 2012, in connection with a case lodged with it.

Khan died during the course of treatment at Patna Medical College and Hospital on June 15, 2012, while he was in police custody.

The panel issued the order on a complaint petition filed by Mohammad Naushad, the son of the deceased, seeking direction to the authorities concerned to take action against the accused police officers, who had allegedly inflicted torture upon the deceased, who later died because of injuries.

Taking the commission inspector-general Nirmal Kumar Azad’s report and Naushad’s petition into consideration, the panel issued notices to sub-inspectors Ras Bihari Paswan (the then station house officer of Maner), Saurabh Kumar and Dhirendra Kumar posted at Maner police station in terms of Section 16 of the Protection of Human Rights Act.

“The commission is of the view that as the deceased died due to injuries suffered by him at the hands of the police officials, it is not a simple case of ‘hurt’. It is a case of homicide attracting the ingredients of ‘culpable homicide’ as defined in Section 299 of the penal code,” Justice Jha said.


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