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Mechanism should be evolved to prevent custodial deaths: HC

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Mumbai: A mechanism should be evolved to ensure that police do not use “excessive steps or force” during interrogations, the Bombay High Court said today.

“While the police were within their rights to interrogate the accused, a mechanism should be evolved to ensure that they do not use excessive steps or force so as to result in a custodial death,” said the bench of Justices V M Kanade and P D Kode.

The court was hearing a petition filed by the father of a custodial death victim, Agnelo Valdaris (24), and three others.


Maharashtra government informed the court today that a first information report had been filed against seven policemen of Wadala railway police station for Agnelo’s death and the alleged torture and sexual abuse of his three friends, after they were held in a robbery case.

These policemen had been transferred to the places outside Mumbai and Detection of Crime Branch was conducting a probe, prosecutor S S Shinde told the judges.

According to the Wadala railway police, Agnelo did not die in custody, but he ran away and was run over by a train while crossing the tracks on April 18.

The court today asked the state government to file an affidavit by June 17 on the progress of the probe.

The prosecutor informed the court that permission has been sought from the district magistrate to exhume Agnelo’s body for the purpose of the probe.

Petitioners’ lawyer advocate Yug Choudhary denied the allegation that Agnelo and his companions had committed any crime, and said the police were responsible for his custodial death.