The secretary of home department has been directed by the Bombay High Court to produce a status report of investigations into custodial deaths in the state, more particularly of cases since 2008.
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday also asked for records related to the alleged custodial death of Robert Inold Almeida, 33, who died in September 1996.
Almeida, who was arrested by the Vikhroli police for assaulting his father while he was under the influence of alcohol, was found dead in his prison cell at Thane Central Jail on September 1, 1996, with injury marks on his body. According to the post mortem report, he had died of brain hemorrhage.
Fourteen years after Almeida died in jail, a magisterial inquiry had revealed that he died due to police torture in Thane Central Prison. The report was recently submitted to the high court.
In 1996, a social activist, NR Soni had written a letter to the high court after there were news reports of three custodial deaths in the Thane Central Prison. The high court had converted the letter into a writ petition and admitted the petition in 1997. In 2008, the HC converted it into a PIL and appointed advocate Madhav Jamdar as amicus curie (friend of court). The court had thereafter directed a magisterial enquiry.