Drawing a parallel between custodial torture and domestic violence where a husband beats his wife inside the four walls of his house,the Gujarat High Court on Friday not only rejected a petitioners request to withdraw his plea against Jamnagar SP Subhash Trivedi and two other policemen he had accused of torturing him physically,but also ordered a probe by a DIG-rank officer of CID (Crime) into the overnight change in his stand.
The single-judge bench of Justice Anant Dave passed the order on a petition by Vishal Singala,a Jamnagar resident who had alleged that Trivedi and two other policemen had tortured him in custody in August last year after he was picked up under the Prohibition Act.
Singala had first approached the local magistrates court but later moved the HC saying the progress in the case was too slow.
However,when the High Court recently directed Singala to lodge an FIR against Trivedi and two other policemen,the petitioner changed his stand and told the court he did not want to pursue the case following the advice of his community members.
Taking a serious view of his reversal of stand,Justice Dave first mooted a CBI probe into the whole matter. However,on Friday,the CBI counsel told the court that the case could be first investigated by CID (Crime) and thereafter,if the need arose,CBI could be ordered to probe.
Agreeing to the CBIs contention and ordering a probe by a DIG-rank officer from the CID (crime),Justice Dave observed that the issue of custodial torture directly concerned the fundamental rights of a person. He directed Singalas lawyer,Gayatri Jadeja,to pursue the matter as a court officer.
The court said the officers named in the complaint could be innocent or otherwise. They will face the probe and come out clean or otherwise, he observed.
The court has asked the probe report to be submitted to by June 25,the date of next hearing in the matter.
Will transfer SP in 10 days
Following terse observations by the court during earlier hearings that Trivedi should have been transferred after the allegations were levelled against him,Public Prosecutor Prakash Jani on Friday told the court that Jamnagar SP Subhash Trivedi would be transferred in 10 days. Trivedi was earlier granted a 10-day leave by the state government last month with a condition that prohibited his entry inside Jamnagar district till further orders.