Mumbai: Rapping the police for "abusing its power" which allegedly resulted in the custodial death of a 34-year-old man, the Bombay High Court on Thursday directed Maharashtra government to initiate action against the officers who were in-charge of Ulhasnagar police station at the time.
The division bench of Justices P B Majmudar and R D
Dhanuka was hearing a public interest litigation filed by
social activist Hardas Tharwani, seeking probe by an
independent agency into alleged murder of Sunil Shelke by
Ulhasnagar police in neighbouring Thane district.
Shelke was arrested on April 12 last year on the charge
of assaulting his wife. The next day he was found dead in the
lock-up. Earlier in February, another person, Narayan Rathod,
too died at the same police station.
Public prosecutor Pandurang Pol said state CID was
probing the case, and a police constable had been suspended.
As per the autopsy report, Shelke died due to
poisoning, Pol said.
"Only one constable has been suspended? An innocent man
has been killed. He was not a terrorist to be murdered in
custody. It is the duty of the police to protect citizens, not
to go around killing them. This is abuse of power," said
Directing the secretary of state home department to take
remedial measures and action against guilty officers, Justice
Majmudar said, "It is the duty of the government to see to it
that higher police officials who were in charge of the police
station are inquired against."
The court also directed CID to continue investigation and
submit a progress report on April 18.