The Bombay High Court’s Aurangabad bench recently directed the state government to pay as compensation Rs 50, 000 each to two petitioners from Beed district, including an ex-military person, for illegally detaining them for six days in jail in 2013.
A division bench of Justice Tanaji V Nalawade and Justice Mukund G Sewlikar passed the judgment earlier this month on a plea filed by Arun Tagad (33) and Shailendra Tagad (34) from Beed seeking compensation of Rs 5 lakh each on the ground that they were illegally arrested and detained in custody at the instance of Beed police and executive magistrate.
Advocate N R Thorat for petitioners submitted that on January 28, 2013, FIR was lodged by Beed Rural Police against petitioners under offences such as voluntarily causing hurt with dangerous weapons and criminal intimidation on a complaint made by a woman from their village. She had complained that the accused persons had picked up a quarrel with her family on the ground that her family did not allow them to use bullocks and carts for fetching water and had assaulted her.
On January 30, petitioners were arrested by police and were produced before Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) on the same day. The JMFC granted bail to both of them and they were released after furnishing personal bond and surety.
It was contended that when they came out of court campus, the same police arrested them immediately and they were taken before executive magistrate, who passed an order against petitioners and directed them to give interim bond with two sureties of Rs 25, 000 each.
On the same day, the petitioners moved a plea before the execute magistrate and requested him to permit them to give cash security instead of surety bond as issuance of solvency certificate would take some time. The EM rejected the plea and adjourned the matter to the next date. After a fresh written request on January 31, the EM granted them time and passed a release order, however, the duo was kept behind bars till February 5, 2013.
The petitioners alleged ‘malafide’ in action taken by police and executive magistrate and submitted that they were illegally detained in jail for nearly six days.
After hearing submissions, the bench observed, “Order of Executive Magistrate asking the present petitioners to execute interim bond of such nature is illegal and involved onerous condition. There was malafide and intention of police to see that the petitioners are arrested and they are kept behind bars for a few days and the Executive Magistrate acted as per such desire of police and did not apply his mind.”
Directing the state government to pay Rs 50,000 compensation each to petitioners, the court observed, “There is a clear possibility that to the Executive Magistrate there was no proper training. The powers available as per Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) are invested either in the police officer of higher rank or some revenue officer and as they have no training, when the superior police officer issues some instructions like done in the present matter and orders of the aforesaid nature are passed.”