A decade on, Bombay HC grants ₹6.32 lakh compensation to family of custodial torture victim
A decade after an 18-year-old from Hingoli district died due to police brutality, Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court (HC) on Tuesday directed the state government to pay a compensation of ₹6.32 lakh to the wife and parents of the deceased.
The bench of justice TV Nalawade and justice MG Sewlikar held that the deceased, Begya Pawar, died due to injuries sustained by him while in custody of Risod police in Washim district, and therefore his family was entitled to compensation.
The bench took ₹4,000 as notional monthly income of the deceased and accordingly fixed the amount of compensation that his family was entitled to at ₹6.32 lakh. The bench has directed the state government to deposit the amount with the court in six months with liberty to the government to recover the amount from the erring police personnel after fixing their liability.
On May 9, 2011, a team of eight police personnel led by inspector Madhav Dhande attached to Risod police station had picked up the deceased from his house and also apprehended Raju Pawar from his field. They were apprehended on the suspicion of preparing for a dacoity.
Next morning, Pawar was found dead in police custody. The post-mortem report exposed brutal police torture, revealing that the deceased had sustained 44 injuries, including several fractures. It further stated that he died due to shock and haemorrhage owing to multiple contusions and multiple fractures.
Following a complaint lodged by the father of the decreased, a case was registered against nine policemen. The then deputy superintendent of police investigated the case and came to a conclusion that Pawar died due to police brutalities.
In this backdrop, wife and parents of the deceased had moved HC seeking compensation of ₹25 lakh for loss of their dear one.
On Tuesday, HC partially allowed their petition and held that they were entitled to compensation if ₹6.32 lakh.
“The factual matrix clearly indicates that the action of respondents No. 5 to 13 was in clear violation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India, which provides that no person shall be deprived of his life and personal liberty without due process of law” said HC.
The bench added that in the case at hand, Pawar was arrested in blatant violation of Constitutional provisions. “Therefore, his fundamental right to life and personal liberty was taken away without due process of law. The subsequent event shows that B summary was filed (to close the dacoity case against the deceased) and it was sanctioned by the magistrate having jurisdiction. This clearly shows that the petitioners are entitled to compensation,” the bench added.