The Bombay high court (HC) on Tuesday directed the state government to disclose on affidavit its action plan to prevent custodial deaths.
The division bench of justice VM Kanade and justice Anuja Prabhudessai also directed the home department to state what steps it has taken to curb custodial torture. The court was hearing a suo-motu petition regarding custodial deaths.
One of the petitions was filed by BPT Colony resident Leonard Valdaris, seeking Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigation into the death of his 25-year-old son Agnelo, who had been picked up along with three others by the Wadala Government Railway Police (GRP) on the charge of chain snatching.
Agnelo allegedly died because of excessive torture during police custody. An FIR was registered against seven personnel attached to Wadala GRP. The HC has now transferred the case to the CBI.
On August 13, the bench had directed the state government to install CCTV cameras so as to cover all corridors and rooms at police stations across Maharashtra. The court had also directed that the footage of each of the CCTV cameras be preserved for a year.
On Tuesday, assistant public prosecutor Mankunwar Deshmukh sought more time to implement the court order for installing CCTV cameras. Accordingly, the court granted four weeks to the new government, but by way of a last chance.