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Nawlesh Kr Kiran

The Patna High Court ruled that the State Government must pay ₹2 lakh as compensation to a man who was severely tortured and assaulted while in police custody. Justice Bibek Chaudhuri applied Section 106 of the Indian Evidence Act, which shifts the burden of proof to the person who has special knowledge about the incident.

The court identified that the police officers who were on duty at the Siwan Muffasil Police Station from 2 PM to 5 PM on July 4, 2017, had special knowledge about the incident. They were required to explain how the victim was assaulted and by whom. If they failed to provide this information, they could be prosecuted.

Reason behind it!

The incident began when the victim was taken by police from the Siwan court premises on July 4, 2017, as part of a criminal case. He was taken to the Siwan Muffasil Police Station, where he was allegedly beaten and tortured by the police, leading to severe injuries. Although the victim repeatedly complained about the assault and a medical examination confirmed that his injuries were caused by hard and blunt objects, no immediate action was taken by the authorities.

On July 5, 2017, the victim filed a complaint with the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Siwan, stating he was assaulted, but no action was taken. When he was brought before the Chief Judicial Magistrate on July 8, 2017, he reported chest and leg pain.

The court emphasized that from the start, the victim consistently reported police brutality and that it was undisputed he was injured while in police custody. The court concluded that the officers in charge at the time of the assault must explain what happened. The Superintendent of Police, Siwan, was directed to file a complaint against the involved officers for custodial violence and atrocities.

This decision highlights the importance of accountability for police officers and ensures that those in custody are protected from abuse. The court’s application of Section 106 of the Indian Evidence Act places the responsibility on the police to justify their actions when a person in their custody is harmed.