CUSTODIAL death : NHRC urges Gujarat HC for action against officials

Ebangla Bureau

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National Human Rights Commission has demanded action against the officials responsible for the custodial death of an undertrial prisoner due to negligence and torture in Gujarat’s Sabarmati Jail . The victim was in the custody since May 27, 2017 after his arrest in a prohibition case. Within two days, he fell ill and was sent to the Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad for treatment but died on the same day. The post-mortem, done by a panel of four doctors, revealed 22 ante-mortem injuries from head to toe on the deceased. The forensic cause of death was given as death due to shock and haemorrhage as a result of injuries sustained. The NHRC has also said the enquiry conducted  by an Ahmedabad Assistant Chief Metropolitan Magistrate was “shady in nature” and unreliable. The rights body  in a petition urged the Registry of The Gujarat High Court to bring the matter to the notice of  Chief Justice. “It is very surprising & shocking to know that though 22 ante-mortem injuries over the body of the deceased were clearly reflected in the post-mortem report’’, he   Ahmedabad ACMM  had stated that no injury was found. The NHRC also issued a show cause notice to the state Chief Secretary  asking why not an interim relief of Rs 3 lakh should not be recommended to be paid to prisoner Ashok aka Lalit’s next of kin as his human rights were violated by jail officials. The state Director General of Police has been asked to submit, within four weeks, a detailed report in the matter along with details of the criminal case registered and progress in the matter. The NHRC had registered the case on the basis of an intimation from Central Prison Superintendent, Ahmedabad, regarding the prisoner’s death. Its Investigation Division informed that the victim was in the custody of Sabarmati Central Prison, Ahmedabad since May 27, 2017 after his arrest in a prohibition case. The forensic cause of death was given as death due to shock and haemorrhage as a result of injuries sustained. However, the ACMM, Ahmedabad concluded that the health screening report as well as inquest report revealed that no injury was present on the deceased’s body. The ACMM also noted that family members did not complain of anything and based on the statements of doctors and jail officials, there was no evidence that the deceased was physically or mentally tortured during custody. Picture courtesy: Ahmedabad Mirror

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