Delhi HC orders DSLSA to compensate family of man who died under judicial custody

Delhi High Court. File  

The Delhi High Court has ordered the Delhi State Legal Service Authority (DSLSA) to give compensation to the widow and two minor daughters of a man who died while under judicial custody.

Justice Prathiba M. Singh ordered that DSLSA should process the application for compensation under the Delhi Victims Compensation Scheme, 2018.

The high court's order came on plea by the wife of the deceased Mr. Salman alias Mesar, who was arrested on November 11, 2020.

The allegation against Mr. Salman was that he was involved in the theft of a vehicle. He was then produced before the Metropolitan Magistrate, where it was recorded by the Magistrate that his physical condition was not good and that he was not even able to stand.

Mr. Salman was, however, remanded to judicial custody and on the next day itself, he passed away in custody. He left behind his wife and two minor daughters - one who is six years old and other who is five months of age.

His wife, in her plea before the high court, has claimed that he was subjected to torture by the police, however it was recorded in the remand order that the deceased was beaten up by the public. She sought compensation of ₹1 crore.

On previous hearing, the high court had noted that the police in its status report "merely" records the dates on which he was admitted to jail and his medical examination was conducted and the date when he was admitted to hospital at the time of his death.

"The status report does not give any details of the events that transpired in jail leading to the demise of the deceased. The status report is completely lacking in the particulars and material facts, and is sketchy to say the least," the high court had remarked.

DSLSA stated that the Delhi Victim Compensation Scheme permits the grant of compensation in case of such deaths. In its status report, it stated that Mr. Salman appears to have succumbed to injury inflicted to him during the course or after his apprehension in the theft case.

While the theft case was itself subject matter of an FIR, in respect of his death another FIR has been lodged.

DSLSA submitted that if there is a loss of life in judicial custody, the legal heirs or dependents of the deceased would be entitled to compensation, which would to a minimum of ₹3 lakh and maximum of ₹10 lakhs.

The high court also directed the Delhi government's counsel to supply documents relating to postmortem report, charge sheet, and all relevant documents which are available in respect of the death of Mr. Salman to his wife's counsel.

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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 2:30:38 PM |

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