Police personnel have no right to beat accused for extracting information from them and such acts cannot be treated as done in exercise of their duty, the Bombay high court held on Thursday.
Justice AIS Cheema struck down an order passed by the chief judicial magistrate at Basmat in Parbhani district discharging assistant sub-inspector Sheshrao Thombre and constable Kacharu Rengade accused of torturing a woman in their custody for extracting information about some historical gold coins, and restored criminal prosecution of the two.
According to the prosecution, the duo had arrested the woman and her husband on apprehension that they had found some historical gold coins, in July 1992.
After obtaining their custody, the duo had allegedly tortured the woman by beating her and pouring water mixed with red chili powder in her privates.
After the woman complained about the torture, an enquiry was conducted and an FIR was registered on July 25, 1992. A charge sheet was filed against them on August 4, 1994.
But on October 11, 2001, the chief judicial magistrate discharged both policemen holding that the acts were under the colour of duty as contemplated under Section 161 of the Bombay Police Act, 1951. The state government had carried the matter in appeal before the high court.
“As per Section 52 of the IPC, nothing is said to be done in good faith which is done without due care and caution,” justice Cheema observed.
The judge said that if the facts of the case were seen in this context, it is quite clear that the police had no right to beat her or commit acts outraging her modesty. “The acts cannot be treated as done ‘under the colour or in exercise of duty or authority’ vested in the police officials,” the judge added.