Jurisprudence

Telangana: Government pays Rs 5 Lakhs compensation for custodial death of Puttam Reddy

The NHRC has acted on the complaint filed by the ACHR on 25 May 2012 against the custodial death of P Reddy, a 36-year-old businessman, due to alleged torture in Miyapur police station in Hyderabad.

There have been attempts on the part of the administration/police to give clean chit to the accused police personnel in this custodial death case. The Magisterial Enquiry Report (MER) and the report submitted by the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) did not find any foul play on the part of the accused police personnel. In fact, the CB-CID report stated that the father of the deceased wanted to withdraw his complaint filed before the NHRC. But the Asian Centre for Human Rights strongly challenged the report submitted by the CB-CID by providing point-wise rebuttal in its submission of comments to the NHRC. In its comments to the NHRC vide letter dated 13 June 2015, the ACHR pointed out that the deceased’s father appeared to have been pressurized by the police and that in any case, he was not the competent authority to give opinion that his son had died due to chest pain. The ACHR also pointed out that the authorities had failed to conclude the magisterial enquiry report even after one year of the death as on 17 April 2013. Therefore, the ACHR stated, the findings of the MER was limited and only made on the basis of the medical report.

On close scrutiny of the relevant documents, the NHRC came to the conclusion that there were discrepancies in the findings of the Inquest Report and the Post Mortem Report. While the Inquest Report did not record any external injury, the PMR recorded “ante mortem injuries on the body such as contused abrasion and grazed abrasion (which means that he was dragged) indicating police torture.” The relatives of the deceased also claimed that he was picked up on 12 April 2012, not on 14 April 2012 as claimed by the police. On the basis of these observations, the NHRC vide proceedings dated 4 April 2018 directed the Chief Secretary, Government of Telangana to pay a sum of Rs Five Lakhs as monetary compensation to the NOK of the deceased.

Pursuant to the directions of the NHRC, the Principal Secretary to the Government of Telengana, General Administration SPL (L&O) Department vide communication dated 04.10.2018 forwarded a copy of receipt regarding payment of Rs. Five Lakhs as monetary compensation to the next of kin of the deceased Puttam Reddy.

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