The Delhi high court on Friday dismissed a plea by Samba spy scandal accused Ram Swaroop’s wife into his “mysterious” death 33 years ago while in the custody of Army authorities.
Justice ML Mehta upheld contention of centre’s standing counsel Jatan Singh that there was no fresh ground to reopen the issue after two judicial orders in this regard.
Between late 1978 and early 1979, the Army had arrested 27 officers and 11 civilians on charges of spying for Pakistan while serving in the Samba sector of Jammu and Kashmir. Among those picked up was her husband, Havildar Ram Swaroop.
He was declared brought dead at the base hospital at Delhi Cantonment on September 30, 1978, three days after he had been picked up. Army claimed that Swaroop, died of drug overdose but his wife Angoori Devi claimed he had been tortured to death.
She had made an unsuccessful attempt to get the death probed before a division bench of the Delhi High Court in 2001. She then moved the Supreme Court, which asked her to approach the National Human Rights Commission. She moved the Delhi High Court afresh in September last year claiming that a post mortem report she got through RTI disclosed 39 ante mortem injuries on her husband’s body.
But from the records, the court found that this was not a fresh knowledge and she knew of the fact earlier. Centre's lawyer Jatan Singh pointed out that this fact was mentioned in the appeal she filed in the supreme court against the high court order dismissing her petition and this aspect was also considered by the NHRC.
“The post mortem report, suppressed till date with malice, will provide the anchor. It clearly discloses 39 ante mortem injuries, including six injuries from a hot and blunt object, and the collective pain from the injuries as the cause of death of my husband. Nobody can deny that my husband was tortured,” Devi had contended before the high court in her fresh plea.