New Delhi, Jun 9 (ILNS) The Delhi High Court has sought the response of Delhi Police on a plea seeking transfer of Investigation to CBI into the alleged killing of a 32-year-old man in Tihar Jail in custody, one day prior to his release as per the order of the High Powered Committee amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The present plea has been filed by the mother of Shrikant @ Appu, submitting that her son was taken into custody on November 13, 2019, under relevant Sections of IPC and the Arms Act. Since then, he was in Judicial Custody.
The petition accused Tihar Jail Deputy Superintendent RN Meena behind the alleged murder of Appu.
Today, the matter was listed before the Bench of Justice Rekha Palli, who directed the SHO, Delhi Police, to file a status report regarding the investigation of custodial death.
As per the order of HPC, which was constituted pursuant to the Order of the Apex Court to release the under-trials amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, he was about to be released on May 15, 2021. But on May 14, 2021, the son of the petitioner was brutally murdered by the jail staff/authority. She has also alleged that her son always complained of ill treatment by the jail staff/authorities.
The petitioner further submitted that through the reliable sources, she has got to know that the Deputy Superintendent of Tihar Jail is the main conspirator into the alleged brutal murder of her son.
The plea said, “Justice AS Anand stated in the case of DK Basu vs State of West Bengal that Custodial death is one of the worst crimes in a civilised society, governed by the Rule of Law. Does a citizen shed off his fundamental right to life, the moment a policeman arrests him? Can the right to life of a citizen be put in abeyance on his arrest? The answer, indeed, has to be an emphatic “No.”
Further it stated, “Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India have a wider aura and the custodial violence and other police brutality negates it. Custodial Violence casts serious doubts about the transparency, accountability and functioning of the police hierarchy and goes against the basics of ethics, culture, and human rights jurisprudence.
“Custodial deaths violate not only democratic fabric and human rights aura, but badly undermines the rule of law and constitutionalism, as envisaged in our supreme law of the land,” it added.
The petitioner sought the following directions;
- Issue a writ of or in the nature of mandamus for transfer of the pending investigation in FIR No 243 of 2021 dated 14.05.2021 to Central Bureau of Investigation;
- Issue direction to preserve the CCTV footage of the relevant time;
- Issue or pass a writ, direction or order, which this Court may deem fit and proper to grant compensation to the deceased’s mother. The matter is listed for further hearing on July 8. ILNS/ANR/RJ