Custodial deaths: NHRC asks Delhi to pay Rs 7 lakh



New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Delhi government to pay Rs 7 lakh as monetary relief in three cases of deaths in judicial custody.

It also sought a compliance report from the Chief Secretary along with the proof of payment.

Accusing the state of failing to perform its duty as per law, the commission said Delhi government is liable to compensate the next of kin or family members of the deceased prisoners.

While asking the government to pay Rs 3 lakh each to the next of kin of Raju and Rakesh, it ordered the state to pay Rs 1 lakh to the family members of Vishabh Chaudhary.

Raju, 32, died during the intervening night of April 6 and 7, 2011 in the district jail, Rohini, after he was allegedly assaulted by co-inmates.

Rakesh, who was lodged in Tihar, died on November 10, 2011 at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital where he was treated for his injuries.

"The metropolitan magistrate, Delhi in his enquiry had concluded that initial circumstances surrounding the infliction of blunt trauma upon the abdomen of Rakesh was stated to be a fall from stairs and the immediate cause of death. This gave rise to cloud of suspicion," the Commission said.

It added that having received no response to the show cause notices of the NHRC from the Chief Secretary, the panel observed that it appeared that it had nothing to say in the matter and hence, it recommended that the government pay Rs 3 lakh as interim relief to the next of kin of deceased.

Chaudhary, a convicted prisoner, committed suicide in district jail, Rohini by hanging himself on April 22, 2010.

The Commission based on the material on record observed that the detaining authority had not taken adequate precaution to prevent the prisoner from harming himself. For this breach of duty in taking care of the prisoner, the state must bear liability and pay Rs 1 lakh to the next of kin of deceased, it said.

PTI