Considering a 23-year-old murder accused’s death report, which shows he suffered “multiple injuries”, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed a senior police official from the crime branch to supervise the inquiry into his death. The court has also asked the police to come up soon with the post-mortem report.
Akash Kharade from Kandivali (E) was arrested by the Samta Nagar police as he was one among the three accused held in connection with a murder.
Before a bench headed by Justices N H Patil and Anuja Prabhudessai, on Wednesday, Akash’s brother and petitioner Vikas, through his lawyers Hussain Shaikh and Shantanu Phanse produced his death certificate dated April 24, 2014.
The bench pulled up the present investigating officer of crime branch for not recording statements of the senior inspector and constables who were in-charge of Akash’s custody. It also expressed displeasure as the police was yet to come up with the post-mortem report.
“Get the post-mortem report fast. The Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), crime branch, to supervise the investigation,” directed the court.
Calling it “unnatural”, doctors of forensic medicine department, Grant Medical College, have stated, “Evidence of multiple injuries over body. However, final opinion kept pending for chemical analysis, histopathology report.”
While the police has claimed that Akash died of injuries he sustained after he slipped on the wet floor near the lock-up’s toilet, his family alleged foul play stating that it was a case of custodial death. “This act of inflicting excruciating pain as a mean of getting information or as a sheer cruelty is nothing but a genocide, which is neither permitted in law of the nation, nor by the laws of humanity,” the petition stated.
The petition said that Akash had surrendered before unit 12 of crime branch on April 18 after an FIR was registered against him the previous day. “Thereafter, at around 9.30 pm police officials from Samtanagar police station arrested him. He, along-with, two others, the follwing day, produced before the Magistrate Court, which remanded them to four-day police custody,” the petition added.
The petition alleged that while in custody, Akash was mercilessly beaten up by the police. It was on April 22, at around 12.30 pm, that Akash’s neighbour noticed his dead body lying on a stretcher near Shatabdi Hospital. Claiming that the family was only allowed to see his face at around 4 pm, the petition stated, “The skin from the back of Akash was peeled and at that time they (family) convinced that he was mercilessly assaulted and tortured in the lock-up, which resulted in a custodial death.” While directing the senior police official to watch over the probe, the court has posted the next hearing on June 10.