Allahabad HC orders SIT probe in 2020 custodial death case

The SIT will be headed by an IPS officer not below the rank of superintendent of police along with two other officers not below the rank of deputy superintendent of police.
Allahabad HC (file)
Allahabad HC (file)
Updated on May 24, 2022 11:58 PM IST
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ByJItendra Sarin, Prayagraj

The Allahabad high court on Tuesday directed the state government to transfer the investigation of two cases regarding alleged custodial death of one Anil Singh of Kannauj to special investigating team (SIT).

The SIT will be headed by an IPS officer not below the rank of superintendent of police along with two other officers not below the rank of deputy superintendent of police.

The court further directed that the SIT while investigating the matter shall consider all aspects of the incident including whether the custodial death in 2020 was a case of suicide or murder. It will submit its report within three months.

Justice Ashwani Kumar Mishra and justice Rajnish Kumar passed the order in petitions filed by Tribhuvan Prasad Verma and Arun Kumar, the two policemen accused in the case.

The court while transferring the probe to SIT gave interim relief to the two accused cops. “Subject to petitioners cooperating with the special investigating team, no coercive action shall be taken against them pursuant to the impugned first information report,” the court observed.

Petitioner’s plea was that earlier an FIR was lodged by the father of the deceased against the policemen involved in the case. However, the present FIR (second FIR) was registered by police against its officer of abetting suicide due to ill treatment in police station. Therefore, the petitioner pleaded that it was second FIR of the same incident hence not sustainable in the eyes of law.

Advocate Yogesh Kumar Mishra appearing for the father of the deceased argued that it was a case of murder. He placed certain photographs of the incident and submitted that the height of the ceiling of the toilet, where the victim allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself, was very low. He said even in the photographs the victim was seen in standing position and his feet were touching the floor.

On May 19, 2020, the victim was accused of being in an inebriated state and creating nuisance at his in-laws’ house. After a police complaint, lodged by the in-laws of the deceased, he was brought to the police station. Later, he was found dead in the toilet of the Tirwa Kotwali of Kannauj.

The court had fixed September 6 as the next date of hearing in the case.

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