Weeks after the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC) directed a Kalyan district prison official to pay Rs 1 lakh as compensation to the wife of a prisoner on charges of molestation, the official claimed that he was framed and refused to pay compensation after the six-week deadline ended on November 27.
In October, a bench headed by MSHRC member M A Sayeed observed that prison staffer Suresh Binnar had “misused his official status and had ulterior motives” when he allegedly misbehaved with the wife of an undertrial lodged in Adharwadi prison.
“The right of the victim to live with honour and dignity has been contravened by the alleged perverse action of the concerned erring official,” the commission said and directed Additional Director General of Police and Inspector General of Prisons to extract Rs 1 lakh from the staffer and pay compensation to the woman.
In October 2017, the prisoner, lodged at Adharwadi district jail, had approached the commission through the superintendent of the jail. The prisoner has multiple cases lodged against him in four police stations. He claimed that Binnar (55) called his wife on her phone and asked her to meet in his office. The complaint, written in Marathi, stated that his wife was inappropriately touched and that the officer used obscene remarks. He added that a video had been shot as proof by his wife.
A report submitted by the additional director general of police and inspector general of police (prisons) said Binnar was suspended and placed under departmental inquiry. Binnar remained suspended for six months before being posted to another prison.
When contacted, Binnar claimed he was never given a chance to justify his stand in the commission hearing. He added that the prisoner falsely accused him after the two were involved in a verbal spat. “He (the prisoner) decided to take revenge after I scolded him in jail. I called his wife only because he asked me to. I had no other reason to make the phone call,” Binnar alleged.
In October, the commission had observed in its judgment that the prisoner “suffered stress and trauma and could not solace his wife” who was traumatised by the incident.
Binnar said he will appeal in a higher court against the order. “I don’t have money to pay the compensation,” he said.