The Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has taken the Bhubaneswar Mahila Police to task for violating human rights of a petitioner who was arrested on allegation of dowry torture and cruelty to his wife. The Commission has asked the Home Secretary to pay a compensation of ` 75,000 to the petitioner and fix responsibility and act against the officials of Mahila PS.
The petitioner, CR Panda of Chandaka Industrial Estate area, was arrested by Mahila Police on June 20, 2012 afternoon and produced before the court the next evening at 8 pm. In between, he was taken to Capital Hospital with his hands cuffed and rope tied to his waist.
Panda, who had married Harapriya Rath in February 2010, had been charged under Sections 498 (A), 323, 294, 506 of the Indian Penal Code and 4 Dowry Prevention Act following a complaint by his wife.
In its order, the OHRC observed that the then Inspector of Mahila Police Station Iti Das showed undue haste in arresting the petitioner despite the fact that his wife was not staying with him for some time. The statement of the investigating officer that a counselling, which is a pre-requirement, had been done was only an eyewash which is why the Investigation Wing of the Commission got the matter inquired.
Investigation found that Panda was detained in the police station for more than 24 hours before he was produced before the court which was violation of Article 22 of the Constitution. The panel took a strong view of the petitioner being handcuffed and tied by a rope since there are a number of rulings to desist from use of handcuff and rope.
The Commission held that the human rights of Panda was violated and officials of the Mahila Police Station took no care to abide by instructions of Ministry of Home Affairs and harassed him.
Asking the Home Secretary to pay the compensation within four weeks, the OHRC directed that responsibility be fixed on officials of Mahila Police Station and action be taken against them.