File case against policemen, Bench tells SP

Staff Reporter

For severely beating up a seven-year-old boy suspecting him of stealing a ring

MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the Tuticorin Superintendent of Police to register a case against a head constable and two other constables for severely beating up a seven-year-old boy suspecting him of stealing a gold ring from another boy.

Allowing a petition filed by the victim’s father, Justice G. Rajasuria also directed the State Government to pay a compensation of Rs.20, 000 for flagrant human rights violation and making the petitioner run from pillar to post to register the case though the incident had occurred as early as February 25, 1998.

On the stand taken by the SP in defence of the three policemen, the Judge said that neither the Indian Constitution nor the Criminal Procedure Code empowers the police to extort confession by beating up a boy under the pretext of acting in good faith. A perusal of the Revenue Divisional Officer’s enquiry report would show that the policemen had caused injuries as was mentioned in the medical report and so there was no rhyme or reason for not registering a case, he added.

Prima facie, an offence under Section 330 (voluntarily causing hurt to extort confession) of the Indian Penal Code punishable up to seven years of imprisonment has been made out against the policemen, the Judge said and added: “However, surprisingly and curiously he (SP) would plead as though the policemen acted in good faith. The very contention is far from satisfactory.”

The petitioner, S.A. Koilpitchai of Kalunguvilai village in Tuticorin, said his son studying third standard, was accused of stealing the gold ring while watching a cricket match in their village on February 20, 1998. Five days later, the police took the victim to the station and bet him up with batons to extract the confession before dropping him at one of the villager’s house.

Unable to bear the pain, the child complained of uneasiness and was taken to the Sathankulam Government hospital at 1 p.m.

The doctors referred him to the Tiruchendur Government hospital where he was admitted as an inpatient for nine days. Irked over the inhuman treatment meted out to his son, the petitioner gave representations to the superior police officials but all his efforts went in vain.

Much later, the Collector ordered an enquiry by the Revenue Divisional Officer who concluded that the policemen bet the victim. Despite the clear cut finding in the RDO’s report dated November 12, 2006, the police preferred not to register a case against the culprits and hence, the present petition.

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