Compensation for dead lawyer’s wife
The Uttar Pradesh Government on Monday told the Supreme Court that it would give monetary compensation and consider offering a job to the wife of advocate Shrikant Awasthi, who died in judicial custody last month after being sent to jail for contempt of court by the Allahabad High Court.
During the hearing of a PIL seeking action against those involved in Awasthi’s custodial death, Uttar Pradesh Additional Advocate General Shail Dwivedi said the state government had already made a payment of Rs one lakh to the wife of the deceased lawyer as an interim measure as agreed by the Advocate General before the High Court on May 16.
An amount of Rs two lakh would also be put in fixed deposit, he told a vacation bench headed by Justice C.K. Thakker.
Awasthi, a practising advocate of the Allahabad High Court, was sentenced to one-month imprisonment on April 22 by Justice B.S. Chauhan and Justice Arun Tandon for contempt of court and died at S.R.N. Hospital on May 13 this year, while in judicial custody.
Alleging that Awasthi was being brought to the court regularly for about 9-10 days in handcuffs in utter violation of the law laid down by the Supreme Court, petitioner Aeltemesh Rein, demanded registration of an FIR and “deterrent action” to protect lawyers. Dwivedi, however, denied the allegations about Awasthi’s handcuffing.
Appearing for the High Court, senior advocate Parag Tripathy said the court should not entertain a petition based on media reports, as the manner in which allegations had been levelled against judges was not proper.
The court adjourned the matter to July after Dwivedi said that the High Court had already ordered a probe by the District Judge into Awasthi’s custodial death. The petitioner alleged that when Awasthi’s condition deteriorated, he was taken to hospital in fetters. His legs were chained to the hospital bed.