NHRC not satisfied with the plea of Delhi Police in a case of custodial torture; recommends payment of Rs. 1 lakh each to the two victims and departmental action against the erring officials

New Delhi, 23rd February, 2021

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India, in a case of custodial torture by police in Delhi, has recommended that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs pay Rs. 1 lakh each to the two victims. It has also called for the report of departmental action taken against the six erring police official, who are facing trial before the court of Additional Sessions Judge, Rohini in case FIR No. 289/2019. They include one Inspector-SHO, ASI, HC, HV, and two Constables.

Earlier, the Commission did not accept the plea taken by the Delhi police in reply to its show cause notice that since the matter is subjudice, hence, departmental action cannot be taken against the concerned police personnel. Terming this plea as fallacious, the Commission observed that it is unsatisfactory and does not inspire confidence.

The Commission was convinced that from the material on record, prima-facie it is established that the complainant and his nephew were given third degree torture. They were assaulted by the police personnel, as named in the FIR, and are now facing trial before the court.

Hence, in these circumstances, the Commission recommended payment of Rs. 1 lakh to the two victims of police torture, as per the Section 18 (a) (i) of Protection of Human Rights Act.

The Commission had registered a case on 05.09.2019, on the basis of a complaint dated 28.08.2019 by the victim, alleging that police officials of Adarsh Nagar Police Station, Delhi had picked up his nephew and how he was also detained when he went to enquire about him; given third degree torture along with his nephew. Allegedly, his nephew was also falsely implicated in a criminal case of Arms Act.

Subsequent to the notices of the Commission, the DCP Crime Headquarters, Delhi Police had submitted a report that an FIR no 289/2019 dated 01.09.2019 was registered on the complainant’s complaint. The Commission, on the basis of this report, found that a criminal action had been initiated against the three officials, and a charge-sheet had been submitted against them before the court of law.

Therefore, the Commission held that since the police officials failed to act as responsible public servants, therefore, departmental proceedings against them should also be initiated, and they should be punished accordingly. The State is vicariously liable for the action of public servant/police officials and hence the victims are entitled for compensation.