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HindustanTimes Wed,20 Aug 2014

Court grants Rs. 10 lakh more for widow of custodial death victim

Kanchan Chaudhari  Mumbai, February 05, 2013
First Published: 01:58 IST(5/2/2013) | Last Updated: 01:59 IST(5/2/2013)

Six years after her husband committed suicide because of custodial torture in the Agripada police lock-up, Kharghar resident Shubha Rao, 33, will get an additional compensation of Rs. 10 lakh.

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Based on a complaint of theft lodged by his employer, Premnath Rao, a clerk with a private firm, was arrested by the NM Joshi Marg police on April 4, 2006. Rao was lodged at the Agripada police lock-up the following night and was found dead in the bathroom of the lock-up on April 6, 2006. Though the NM Joshi Marg police had claimed that Rao had committed suicide, a magisterial inquiry later revealed that he had been badly beaten up by inspector Pramod Pawar, which led him to take the drastic step.

According to the recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Rao had received Rs5 lakh in September 2011. Rao had approached the high court seeking an enhanced compensation of Rs15 lakh. Her lawyer, Vikas Kolekar, said that the woman needed the money as she had to support her minor children's education.

"In today's context, the amount is a pittance," said the division bench of justice PV Hardas and justice Abhay Thipsay, while enhancing the compensation amount. "The compensation paid to the woman is wholly inadequate considering the fact that petitioner's husband was drawing monthly salary of Rs. 12,500," they said.

The court has also granted Rao the liberty to seek additional compensation under other laws. The judges said that the state government might recover the compensation from the errant police officer.


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