Advertisement

Mumbai

Updated on: Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 11:16 PM IST

Rs 20K compensation to man illegally kept in lock-up

Despite an order, the man was kept in detention for five days
The police station, however, had detained him for an additional five days before handing him to Arthur Road prison. | Unsplash

The police station, however, had detained him for an additional five days before handing him to Arthur Road prison. | Unsplash

Advertisement

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday ordered the state to pay Rs 20,000 compensation to a man who was illegally detained in a police lock-up for five days, despite an order by a magistrate to remand him in judicial custody.

The court observed that a mere declaration that authorities violated constitutional and legal provisions is of no consequence to a wronged person. It also said that the courts are empowered to award compensation to redress such grievances.

A bench of Justice NJ Jamdar and Justice SS Shinde said in their order that illegal detention cannot be brushed aside as an aberration. “It is true, monetary compensation may not, in all cases, recuperate the injury suffered by the citizen. However, it remains the most practicable and effective measure for redressal of wrong,” the order authored by Justice Jamdar read.

The man, Mohammed Usman Shaikh, had been arrested in a mobile theft case. After two days in police custody, a magistrate had turned down the Deonar police station’s plea to extend his police custody and ordered that he be sent to prison. The police station, however, had detained him for an additional five days before handing him to Arthur Road prison. Shaikh’s wife, through advocate Adil Khatri, had approached the HC with a habeas corpus petition to release him from the illegal detention as well as order compensation.

In his affidavit, the senior inspector from the police station officer had informed the court that Shaikh couldn’t be handed over to prison without a negative Covid test but RT-PCR testing was not available at government hospitals for two days on Saturday and Sunday. He had also shown the reason that government vehicles were not available for transporting him as some were out of order and the others were on nakabandi duty. The bench had refused to accept these explanations, finding them ‘flimsy’.

The HC said the principle of ‘public law damage’ comes to the fore and remedy under it is resorted to, to preserve rule of law. The court did not direct action on the police officers concerned, but said in its order that it would be open for the state to conduct an inquiry and fix liability on them and, if necessary, take action.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Published on: Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 11:16 PM IST
Advertisement