Mumbai : In a shocking reply to a petition pertaining to the custodial death of a 20-year-old man, the State while mentioning it is not of public importance has said if a special public prosecutor (SPP) is required to be
appointed then the petitioner must bear the cost for
The criminal petition is filed by the father of the youth who was allegedly brutally beaten up in Goregaon-based Vanrai police station that led to his death.
A division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Mridula Bhatkar was hearing the petition according to which, in October 2013 Aniket, residing in Kurla went to watch shooting of a film. After 24 hours of going missing, the parents got to know that he was arrested by Vanrai police on charges of theft and that he died the same night.
Three policemen were arrested on charges of Aniket’s murder after a post-mortem report confirmed that he died of multiple injuries, suggesting brutal assault, as opposed to the police claim of chest pain.
Advocate Mihir Desai for the petitioner produced in court numbers of custodial deaths from 1999-2014. As per the statistics produced before the court, there were 106 police custody deaths during these 15 years and out of them only 13 First Information Reports (FIR) were filed. In these cases only five policemen were chargesheeted while the rate of conviction is zero.
Desai in his petition, prayed for appointment of SPP to look into the cause of Aniket’s death.
The State filed an affidavit last week stating, ‘there is no need for special public prosecutor as this is not a matter of public importance and that if the victim’s father wishes to get one appointed by the State, he will have to deposit the fees of the SPP with the State Government and only then will the State appoint SPP.’
In the same affidavit, the Director of Directorate of Prosecution also said, ‘the said matter being not so publicly important to appoint SPP and that the additional public prosecutor is competent to conduct the said case.’
The matter is scheduled to be heard on January 27th.