A Metropolitan court has rejected a petition moved by three senior IPS officers seeking to discharge from a custodial torture case lodged in 1994 in Ahmedabad. The court brushed aside the arguments of the officers that they were discharging their duties as government servants and there was no sanction from the government for prosecuting them.
The court order, pronounced earlier this month, states that from the records like case diary it doesn’t seem that the accused officers — Ashish Bhatia, Surat Police Commissioner, A K Surolia, Additional DGP and Atul Karwal, Inspector General, CRPF were discharging their duties. However, the court has discharged another accused, then police sub-inspector J V Surela.
In 1994, Surolia was as DCP, Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch, Karwal was DCP Zone-5 while Bhatia was DCP Zone-2. At that time one Salimkhan Pathan, a resident of Jamalpur, was taken into custody and was allegedly beaten up.
Pathan’s wife Nazmabanu had complained against these officers of alleged custodial torture of Pathan. After seeing her husband’s condition she had moved the Gujarat High Court and filed a habeas corpus petition. Pathan was produced in the court where it was disclosed that he was beaten up. Subsequently, a complaint was ordered to be lodged against the officers by a court. “I was beaten up by these officers in the custody. I still have marks of torture on my body,” Pathan told this paper on phone. He said that he was into bootlegging till 1991 and left this profession. But still, the police kept lodging cases against in every second case under prohibition.
“I am an educated person and I told these officers not to frame me like this. But they kept bothering me for no reasons,” Pathan said. A businessman dealing in real estate and agriculture produce, he alleged that there is pressure on him to withdraw the case.