Jaunpur custodial death: HC transfers probe to CBI
The Allahabad high court has transferred the probe of the alleged death of a 24-year-old man in police custody in Jaunpur district in February this year to central bureau of investigation (CBI), while observing that “the entire effort of the police is to somehow give clean chit to the accused”.
Saying that speedy trial was the essence of companion in concept of “fair trial”, the court observed, “In every civilized society, the police force is invested with powers of investigation of a crime to secure punishment for the criminal and it is in the interest of society that the investigating agency must act honestly and fairly and not resort to fabricating false evidence or creating false clues only with a view to secure conviction because such acts shake the confidence of the common man not only in the investigating agency but in the ultimate analysis in the system of dispensation of criminal justice.” The court “prima facie found that officers of the IPS rank have some involvement in the murder/death of the deceased”.
Hearing a writ petition filed by one Ajay Kumar Yadav of Jaunpur district, a division bench comprising justice Surya Prakash Kesarwani and justice Piyush Agrawal on September 8 (Tuesday) transferred the probe while underscoring if the investigation was neither effective nor purposeful nor objective nor fair, the courts may, if considered necessary, order fair investigation, further investigation or reinvestigation as the case may be to discover the truth so as to prevent miscarriage of justice.
It is alleged by the petitioner that a police team of Baksha police station in Jaunpur district forcibly took away Krishna Yadav alias Pujari, who was about 24 years of age, on February 11, 2021 in an alleged false case and detained him at the police station.
When the informant (brother of the deceased) went to the police station, he was not allowed to meet his brother and the next morning (February 12, 2021), he was informed that his brother (Pujari) had died.
Thereafter, a case was registered against the accused police officers under Sections 302 (murder) and other sections of Indian Penal Code at Baksa police station. On the other hand, police claimed that the youth was apprehended while he was driving a motorcycle which fell due to which he received injuries and the public beat him up.
As per the police version, when he (the detained youth) was sent for first aid along with a sub inspector and two constables, the doctor at the community health centre referred him to district hospital, Jaunpur, and by the time they reached the district hospital, he had died.
Due to the alleged custodial death, a judicial inquiry was set up in the matter under chief judicial magistrate (CJM), Jaunpur, and it recorded the statements of 16 witnesses. However, it did not reach any conclusion.
After going through the record of the case, the court observed, “The entire effort of the police is to somehow give clean chit to the accused and for this purpose important evidence are being left and some pieces of evidence are being created and manipulated. But presently we do not want to comment any more since a fair investigation is yet to be carried out by an independent and impartial agency.” Consequently, transferring the probe to the CBI, the court posted the matter as fresh for further hearing on September 20.