Government doctors had noted 33 injuries, including scars; District Judge’s report confirmed use of force during interrogation

The Madras High Court has directed the State government to pay a compensation of Rs. 50,000 to a person who was assaulted and ill-treated in police custody in June last year.

It also directed the Home Secretary to conduct a departmental enquiry and fix liability on those who were in charge at the relevant time of arrest and interrogation. The compensation should be recovered proportionally from the erring officials.

Justice N. Paul Vasanthakumar passed the order on a petition by G. Barathi of Sholavaram, near here.

She submitted that on June 16, 2012, a team of policemen came in a car, ransacked her house and assaulted her son, G. Arun, and took him away. His whereabouts were not known for some time. Later, she came to know that her son had been remanded to custody by the Judicial Magistrate II, Ponneri in connection with a case registered by the Sholavaram police. There were injuries all over her son’s body. Arun had told her that he was beaten with lathi. She sent representations to the State government to give medical treatment for her son. As it was not provided, she filed the present petition. She also sought appropriate action against the erring officials and compensation.

Superintendent of Police, Tiruvallur district, submitted that Arun was involved in nearly half-a-dozen cases, including one registered by the Kavarapettai police for alleged theft.

Pursuant to a court order, Arun was provided treatment at the Government Royapettah Hospital here. Also, the Principal District Judge, Tiruvallur, conducted an enquiry and submitted a report. The hospital doctors had noted 33 injuries, including scars on the injured. The district judge in his report in April this year had clearly stated that the injuries on the victim had not been stated in the remand report and the police used force against Arun during interrogation. Hence, the court said Arun was assaulted in police custody and sustained injuries. Once human rights violation in police custody was established, the victim was entitled to compensation as a matter of right, Mr. Justice Paul Vasanthakumar said.