Compensation for custodial death enhanced by Rs 4.4L
A compensation of Rs 1.50 lakh, awarded by the Tamil Nadu State Human Rights Commission (SHRC), to the family of a person who died while in police custody, has been steeply hiked to Rs 5.90 lakh by the Madras High Court. Holding that the amount sanctioned by the SHRC was meager, Justice T Raja ordered the enhancement after adopting the multiplier method.
The judge was allowing a petition from A Selvi, wife of Annadurai. He directed the State government to pay the balance amount of `4.40 lakh within two months.
Petitioner’s counsel S Sathiachandran submitted that while Annadurai (40) was shopping at Virudachalam bus stand on November 7, 2004, a sub-inspector of police and three constables assaulted him and detained him in police custody. On the same day, they went to the petitioner’s village and took one Palanivel for enquiry. On the next day, Annadurai died and Palanivel informed that SI and the constables assaulted Annadurai.
The petitioner being left with two sons a minor daughter, filed a complaint before the SHRC, which on April 1, 2007, after going through the report submitted by the RDO, implicating the police personnel responsible for the death of Annadurai, came to the conclusion that it was a case of custodial death and the victim had suffered grievous injuries in the hands of police personnel and awarded Rs1.50 lakh as compensation. As the entire family was deprived of its breadwinner and also loss of future income, Selvi filed the present petition claiming sufficient compensation, Sathiachandran added. The judge said, “I am of the view that there is no difficulty to come to the conclusion that a sum of Rs1.50 lakh awarded by the panel is only a meager compensation.’’