July 30, 2021

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Illegal Police Custody case: There seems to be complete police rule in Bihar… Supreme Court’s very harsh remarks on illegal custody

Illegal Police Custody case: There seems to be complete police rule in Bihar... Supreme Court's very harsh remarks on illegal custody

Highlights:

  • The Supreme Court made a very harsh remark while rejecting an appeal of the Bihar government
  • Supreme Court said that it seems that there is complete police raj in Bihar
  • The case is about keeping a truck driver in illegal custody for 35 days, Patna High Court had ordered 5 lakh compensation
  • The Bihar government had challenged the decision in the Supreme Court by overstating the compensation, in this case the court made this comment.

New Delhi
The Supreme Court has said that Bihar seems to have a complete police raj. The Supreme Court has made this strong observation while ordering the payment of compensation amount to the truck driver in the case of illegally keeping a truck driver in police custody for 35 days. The Supreme Court said that where there is a question of compensation in case of violation of liberty of a poor, it will be equal to that of a rich and powerful person.

Case related to compensation to a person kept in illegal custody
The decision of the Patna High Court was challenged by the Bihar government. The Patna High Court had directed the Bihar government to pay Rs 5 lakh as compensation to the driver in the case of illegal detention of the driver by the police and keeping him in custody for 35 days. In the appeal filed by the Bihar government in the Supreme Court, it was said that the state government dealt with the matter responsibly and the responsible SHO has been suspended and disciplinary action is going on. But at the same time it was argued that in the case of the driver, the compensation amount is more than five lakh rupees.

The court asked the Bihar government – would there have been a case of an influential person even then he would have appealed?
The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Chandrachud said that the state government should not have come to the appeal in this matter. Your only grounds are that in the case of driver’s custody the compensation of Rs 5 lakh is more? The Supreme Court said that in case of taking away the liberty of any person, you will deal in such a way that if that person was rich and powerful, then more compensation would be made? The Supreme Court said that as far as compensation for taking away one’s liberty is concerned, even if a person is of a lowly type (financially weak), he is equal to a rich and powerful person and in such a situation, five lakh rupees by the High Court. Compensation payment order is correct.

‘Illegal custody for 35 days without FIR… Looks like there is police raj in Bihar’
The bench said that your (state government) contention that the police had released him but he was in the police station of his own free will and was enjoying his liberty in the police station of his own free will? You are thinking that the court should believe your argument. You see what your DIG has said. The DIG has said in his report that the FIR was not registered. The statement was not made in time and the vehicle and its driver were illegally detained without any reason. Justice Chandrachud made a scathing remark that there seems to be a police raj in Bihar. The Supreme Court rejected the application filed by the Bihar government.

what was the matter
It is alleged that the police of Parsa police station in Bihar had detained the milk tanker and its driver. Police said that there was a case of a pedestrian accident. He was injured. The tanker and the driver were detained in this connection. But the latter was released and he was there voluntarily. At the same time, the vehicle owner had filed an application in the High Court saying that his vehicle and driver Jitendra Kumar were illegally detained by the police and kept in custody for 35 days.

The Patna High Court in its judgment had said that the police authority had violated the legal process and the driver was illegally detained and kept in police custody for 35 days. This was done without FIR and legal process. In this way, the authority has violated Article-22 of the Constitution i.e. Right to Life and Liberty. In such a situation, the state government is directed to pay five lakh rupees as compensation to the driver in case of violation of Article 21.

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