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Acquitted, ragpicker seeks damages

He has filed a petition in Bombay High Court (HC) seeking compensation of Rs 50 lakh, reports Urvi Jappi.

india Updated: Dec 29, 2006 04:39 IST
Urvi Jappi

Armugham Kounder (37) is trying to start life afresh. Despite being jailed for over 11 years — and then acquitted of the crime — the ragpicker has not lost faith in the judiciary.

He has filed a petition in Bombay High Court (HC) seeking compensation of Rs 50 lakh. He also seeks suspension of Assistant Police Commissioner Nandkumar Chougule, who was then Senior Police Inspector of Oshiwara police station, whose personnel arrested him on false charges.

Kounder, who hails from Tamil Nadu, was arrested for allegedly raping a minor and killing her in 1995.

A sessions court convicted him in May 2001, but the high court acquitted him in October this year.

The court has now issued notices to the state and Chougule.

Kounder was arrested in 1995 by the Oshiwara police. His lawyer Asim Sarode alleged the police tortured Kounder to extract confession.

He was only acquitted after inspector Abdul Kadir committed suicide in 2001.

In his suicide note, he stated that senior officers had falsely implicated innocent persons in some cases, including Kounder. A committee was set up to investigate Kadir’s allegations. However, the report was not made public.

Sarode met Kounder in Yerawada jail and decided to take up his case. Kounder is now working as a service staff of Chaitanya Mental Health Care in Pune.

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First Published: Dec 29, 2006 04:39 IST