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Inquiry in 28 custodial death cases pending

Thursday, May 17, 2018
By Zuber Ansari

In a shocking revelation regarding custodial death cases, it has come to light that in the last seven years there have been 52 custodial deaths in major prisons in Maharashtra. Of these,  investigation in 24 have been completed while the remaining 28 cases still face inquiry.

Apparently, relatives of the deceased were not available at the time of hearing of the cases and as a result the reports' status was affected.

According to state prison department sources, after any death in police custody or prison,  family members of the deceased were informed, and after the High Court order, the on-duty officer has to inform his superiors of the incident immediately. However, in most cases it was found that relatives of the deceased were absent during court hearings.

From 2011 to 2017, a number of custodial death cases have been reported from different prisons and police stations across Maharashtra including – Arthur Road Jail, Thane, Taloja, Nashik-Aurangabad, Bhiwandi, Shrinagar police station in Thane, Ganesh Puri and JJ Mar police stations. Arthur Road Jail recorded the highest number of custodial deaths, with 26 cases occurring in the last seven years. The Byculla jail reported 3, Nashik (2), Taloja (6), Thane (6), Kalyan (6) and Aurangabad (1), sources said.

Earlier, reports of 19 cases were submitted by Collectorate and Talathi office. While investigation in 24 cases are completed, the reports will be submitted soon. Inquiry into the remaining 28 cases has not started yet. Even the Forensic Department has not submitted their reports (cause of death) in these cases due to which inquiries have been delayed, sources added.

The Forensic Department is playing a vital role but is taking time to submit its report. They occassionally provide information in the cases which helps to take them further action. After completion of investigations, the Collectorate or concerned authority has to submit its report to the state Human Rights Commission, sources added further.

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