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Lucknow: 28 years later, 2 ex-cops sentenced to seven-year term for assault on retd school principal

The court passed the judgment on an appeal filed against the lower court judgment which had in 2014 acquitted all the accused for want of evidence.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow |
Updated: October 27, 2019 9:38:42 pm
india prison reform, Prison Statistics of India 2017 report, inmates human rights Twelve prosecution witnesses and two defence witnesses were examined by the court.

The sessions court of Ghazipur has awarded seven years’ imprisonment to a former station officer (SO) and a constable of a police station and three others for wrongly confining and beating up a 60-year-old man, a retired government school principal, before implicating him in a false case lodged at Mardah police station in 1991.

The court passed the judgment on an appeal filed against the lower court judgment which had in 2014 acquitted all the accused for want of evidence.

The retired principal, Kuber Nath Singh, hailed from Ghariya village.

“The court held five persons including Mansoor Ahmed Kazi, then station officer of Mardah police station, guilty after which they were taken into custody on Friday. All five persons were out on bail, Others include police constable Shyam Narain Singh and three locals Paras Nath Singh, Suresh Singh and Piyush Kant Singh. On Friday, all five persons were brought to the court and Additional District and Session Judge Durgesh sentenced them to seven years’ imprisonment,” said government counsel Rajesh Singh, adding that court also imposed fine on them.

Twelve prosecution witnesses and two defence witnesses were examined by the court. Mansoor Ahmed and Shyam Narain have retired from service, he added.

“It was found that Paras Nath Singh, Suresh Singh and Piyush Kant Singh had an enmity with Kuber Nath Singh. As per plan, they took favour of the policemen to thrash, humiliate and falsely implicate Kuber Nath Singh in a case,” said Rajesh Singh.

According to the victim’s lawyer, Sanjay Rai, the case dates back to April 14, 1991 when a police team led by then SO Mansoor Ahmed had gone to Ghariya village following a tip-off that two villagers, Paras Nath Singh and Anil Singh, had clashed over a land dispute.

Mansoor Ahmed allegedly started hurling abuses at the villagers and Kuber Nath Singh objected to his act. Irked over his reaction, policemen forcibly took Kuber Nath in the police vehicle and also asked Paras Nath to accompany them.

“Policemen stopped the vehicle on the way to the police station and assaulted Kuber Nath brutally following which he sustained serious injuries. Policemen got him admitted in the hospital. They later lodged a cross FIR taking complaints of Paras Nath and Anil Singh. While on Paras’ complaint, police booked Anil Singh and Kuber Nath Singh, in another case only Paras was booked,” informed Rai.

“In the FIRs, it was mentioned that Kuber Nath suffered injuries during the clash between Paras Nath and Anil Singh. The police filed chargesheet in both the cases in merely seven days. The chargesheet was filed on various charges including criminal intimidation,” said Sanjay Rai.

He added that Kuber Nath Singh’s son Dr Harikesh Singh, then a reader at Banaras Hindu University (BHU), filed a complaint with the state government alleging that policemen had beaten up his father and falsely implicating him in the case. Harikesh was also then president of the BHU Teachers’ Union. He is now vice-chancellor of Jai Prakash University, Chhapra in Bihar.

Rai added that the state ordered an inquiry by the UP Police’s Crime Branch CID and the probe found that allegations against the cops were true. The government then ordered both the cases to be withdrawn from the court.

“The court was not convinced with police theory that Kuber Nath Singh suffered serious injuries during clash between the two villagers. The court allowed government application following which cases were withdrawn in 1993,” said Rajesh Singh.

On the basis of CB-CID inquiry, a fresh FIR was lodged against 11 policemen including Mansoor Ahmed and four local residents in 1993 on various IPC sections including 218 (Public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture), 220 (Commitment for trial or confinement by person having authority who knows that he is acting contrary to law), 325 (Punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt.) and 342 (wrongful confinement).

UP’s Crime Branch CID conducted investigation and filed chargesheet against all 15 persons in the case.

“On October 30, 2014, the court acquitted all the accused for want of evidence. Against the judgment, Dr Harikesh Singh and the state government filed an appeal in the court of District Judge, Ghazipur,” said Rai.

“Since other accused were then on the run, the court separated files of other accused. Of the remaining 10 persons, one is dead. The trial of nine policemen including two retired sub-inspectors is still pending,” said Rajesh Singh.

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