Delhi High Court dismisses custody death charge against police

October 8th, 2008 - 1:41 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 8 (IANS) The Delhi High court has dismissed a petition filed against the Delhi Police by a woman who alleged that her brother died in police custody.On Aug 26, 2007, Tek Chand was apprehended by the police on suspicion of theft but was released the same day.

On Feb 18, 2008, police found an unidentified body, which was identified by the relatives of Tek Chand. His sister Phoolwati filed a petition in the Delhi High Court, claiming that he had died after being tortured in the police post in Madipur in west Delhi.

Justice S.L. Bhayana last week dismissed her petition and noted that after investigation, it was found that Tek Chand was a vagabond who had been disowned by his wife and children.

“The wife and children of the deceased did not come forward for any kind of claim. I do not consider that it was a case where there was a gross violation of fundamental rights of the deceased or there was a custodial torture resulting in his death so that this court should exercise its discretion in writ jurisdiction for granting compensation,” Bhayana said.

Police also placed on record the medical report of Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital, which said that “no mark of external injury seen, no foul play suspected, seems to have died of natural illness”.

“There is nothing in the medical report to show that the cause of death was unnatural or was on account of any injury. No material could be placed on record to doubt it. There is no clear material about the custodial death. Therefore, there is no scope for accepting the prayer in the petition,” Bhayana said.

The court added that police have a legitimate right to arrest a person who is suspected to have committed theft and interrogate him.

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