Bombay HC asks Maharashtra Government to pay ₹ 15 lakh as compensation to mother of man killed in police custody

The Aurangabad bench, comprising Justices Vibha Kankanwadi and Abhay Waghwase, on Wednesday passed its judgment on a petition filed by one Sunita Kute who alleged that her 23-year-old son Pradip had died after being tortured and assaulted by two policemen attached to the Solapur police.

PTIUpdated: Saturday, January 21, 2023, 12:03 AM IST
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Custodial death is one of the worst crimes in a civilised society governed by the rule of law and the police cannot torture citizens in an inhuman manner under the guise of power, the Bombay High Court observed while asking the State Government to pay Rs15 lakh as compensation to the mother of a man allegedly killed in police custody.

The Aurangabad bench, comprising Justices Vibha Kankanwadi and Abhay Waghwase, on Wednesday passed its judgment on a petition filed by one Sunita Kute who alleged that her 23-year-old son Pradip had died after being tortured and assaulted by two policemen attached to the Solapur police.

Ms Kute sought a compensation of Rs 40 lakh from the police and disciplinary action against the errant policemen.

The court said that though the police have the power to control the actions of people and the crime, it was not unfettered.

“The state is the protector of the life of its citizens and if its employee undertakes torturous acts under the guise of power, then it has to compensate such a citizen,” the court said.

The bench noted that in the present case, the victim was a 23-year-old man who had married just four months before his death.

The bench directed the Maharashtra Government to pay a compensation of Rs 15,29,600 to the victim's mother.

“It will be open to the state to recover the amount from respondent 4 and 5 (the two errant policemen)," the court said.

As per the plea, the petitioner's son Mr Pradip, who was a sugarcane harvester, was stopped by the police when he was driving a tractor in November 2018.

The policemen started assaulting Mr Pradip and others in the tractor for playing music, the petitioner claimed, adding that while the others managed to flee, Mr Pradip died on the spot.

A FIR was then lodged by the petitioner against the policemen who had assaulted Mr Pradip.

The errant police officials, however, refuted the allegations and claimed that they did not have any motive to kill the victim, who suffered from a brain disease and was feeling dizzy. He was taken to a hospital, where he was declared dead.

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