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The High Court has also ordered the state to pay Rs 5 lakhs for the illegal detention which lasted four months.
The Madhya Pradesh High Court recently ordered the release of a 68 year old tribal man who was found to have been illegally detained after being misidentified as a murder convict by the Police, in the case of Kamlesh S/o Husan vs. The State of Madhya Pradesh & Others.
The Division Bench of Justices SC Sharma and Shailendra Shukla also awarded Rs. 5 lakhs as compensation for the illegal detention, on the Habeas Corpus Petition filed by the son of the jailed man, Husan.
Further, the unfortunate trail of events also led the Bench to issue directions to the State to ensure that such a "classic comedy of error" is not repeated in the future. To ensure the proper identification of arrestees, the Court also observed that bio-metrics may be used.
"The present case is an example of arresting innocent people without identifying them properly, and therefore, it is directed that in all cases, where an arrest is made, the authorities shall identify the persons so arrested on the basis of Bio-metric as well as other documents in order to ensure their identity, in order to ensure that no innocent person like the father of the present petitioner, Husan go to jail again."
Madhya Pradesh High Court
The Court was informed that the petitioner's father, Husan was forcibly picked up from his house by the police, produced before the Magistrate and sent to Jail on charges of murder.
On the petitioner's plea, the Court ordered an enquiry into the matter. The report filed subsequently by the Principal Secretary, Home Department later proved that Husan had been detained due to a mix-up between the names of the actual offender and his own.
The inquiry revealed that Husan, an innocent person, had been languishing in jail for four months. The Court found that, 'Husan' and the real offender, 'Husna' were two different persons.
The Court further remarked that a contempt case was to be registered separately against all those persons who had made various entries in the Rojnamcha dated 18-10-2019 stating that the father of the petitioner is Husna due to which he was arrested in the first place.
The Court, however, was of the view that there could not have been a better example than the present case of a Habeas Corpus Writ petition.
The Court proceeded to observe that the constitutional rights of the petitioner’s father had been violated with impunity. The Bench even remarked that no amount of compensation would suffice to make up for the period spent in jail by Husan. Expressing its disapproval over the sequence of events, the Bench observed,
All the same, in the interest of subserving justice the Court ordered the State to pay Rs 5 lakhs as compensation within a period of thirty days.
The Court further also directed the initiation of separate contempt proceedings against the errant police officials involved. The ordered,
"In the present case, the Sub Divisional Magistrate (Police) has made an incorrect statement on affidavit. A separate case for contempt be registered against the Sub Divisional Magistrate (Police) for making a false statement on affidavit in respect of detention of the father of the petitioner. The contempt be registered separately. Not only this, a contempt case be also registered against all those persons who have made various entries in the Rojnamcha dated 18-10-2019 stating that the father of the petitioner is Husna and he has been arrested."
[Read the Judgement here]