The Bombay high court on Monday directed the state government to pay Rs 4.5 lakh to a homemaker, for the June 2010 custodial death of her husband.
The division bench of justice Abhay Oak and justice Shrihari Davare also directed the director general of police to submit a report on the death of the victim, a 28-year-old labourer from Mahi-Jalgaon village in Ahmednagar district, to the court by June 15.
According to the petition filed by Janardhan Kale’s widow, Rekha, the Baramati city police picked up the victim for his alleged involvement in a theft case on June 14, 2010. Two days later, the police informed his wife he had died in an accident involving a 10-wheel heavy vehicle.
However, Rekha’s sister, Taibai, who had also been picked up by the police along with Kale, revealed he was badly beaten by the police at Baramati city police, which resulted in his death. Rekha alleged that the police had murdered her husband and did not even release his body for performing final rituals and cremated it at Baramati itself.
Rekha also alleged that after her husband was apprehended, constable Shivaji Nikam of the Baramiti city police repeatedly called her on her cellphone and demanded an amount of Rs10 lakh. The police thought her father was a rich man, since he owned some agricultural land.
She had approached the high court seeking that an FIR be filed against the police personnel, that the investigation be transferred to an independent agency and Rs 10 lakh in compensation for the death of her husband.
Her counsel, Kuldeep Patil, contended that the police had illegally detained Kale for three days, and his death was due to custodial torture.
The police said he was arrested after following due procedure and he was crushed under the wheels of an unknown heavy vehicle while attempting to escape. The judges refused to believe this, after finding that an arrest panchnama had not been filed, and that the victim had not been given medical aid after the incident.