CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court on Wednesday directed the State Government to pay Rs 4 lakh to a woman towards compensation for the death of her son in police custody. A division bench of the HC comprising Chief Justice V Gopalagowda and Justice BN Mohapatra ordered the State Government to pay the amount in four weeks to Ritima Dehuri, a resident of Kanknamendhi village in Banigocha under Daspalla police limits of Nayagarh.
She had alleged that her son Nalita Kumar Dehuri had died in police custody, due to negligence of police authorities and prayed for compensation. If the Government failed to pay within the stipulated time, the compensation shall carry 9 per cent interest.
Awarding the compensation, the division bench directed that while ` 50,000 shall be paid in cash to the petitioner-widow immediately, the balance ` 3.5 lakh shall be kept in a nationalised bank in fixed deposit for a period of five years. After five years, the amount shall be kept in bank and the interest accrued shall be withdrawn monthly for the maintenance.
The petitioner had filed the writ petition seeking a direction to the Government for a compensation of ` 10 lakh for death of her son in custody of Chamakhandi police station. She stated that she came to know from media reports about death of her son in the police custody.
As per the case record, on the intervening night of February 28 and March 1 last year, Chamakhandi police had, during night patrolling, held the son of the petitioner at about 2 am. Nalita was allegedly riding a numberless motor bike and on search, a pistol was recovered from his possession. Since he could not show any document for possessing the firearm, he was taken to police station.
The petitioner’s son allegedly disclosed his name as Raju Nayak and accordingly a case was registered. At about 8.30 am, he went to attend the nature’s call in the hazat toilet but did not return. Later, it was found that he had committed suicide by tearing the blanket and by fastening the same in the ventilator iron rod grill.
He was taken to Chhtrapur Sadar Hospital where he died at 11.10 am. The petitioner alleged that her son had been killed by the police and, therefore, she should be paid compensation. Considering the case and relying on certain decisions of the apex court, the court held that the deceased was very young and accordingly ordered award of compensation.