J&K HC orders compensation for custodial death
8 May 2003
The Hindustan Times
Press Trust of India
Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the Centre to pay Rs 5 lakh as compensation to the parents of a student Maroof Ahmed who died in custody of security forces eight years ago. Justice Muzaffar Jan on Wednesday directed the Centre to pay the compensation within two months on a petition filed by Maroof's parents. The parents in the petition alleged their son, a class 12 student of Government Higher Secondary School in Kishtwar town of Doda district, was dragged out of his house by BSF personnel on February 10, 1995 and mercilessly beaten while in custody which resulted in his death three days later. They accused the commandant and deputy commandant of the 38th battalion of BSF of torturing Maroof and prayed for a compensation of Rs 65 lakhs. The respondents, while admitting that Maroof was picked up by a JCO at Kishtwar, claimed the boy died due to illness. The judge observed that since the respondents did not get a post mortem conducted on the body of the boy, which was a legal requirement, and in the absence of evidence of the nature of illness which caused the death, it is conclusively proved that Maroof Ahmed died in custody and his death was not on account of any natural cause or grave sickness. The court said the respondents were held liable for causing custodial death and referring to an apex court order in a similar case, ruled that the state was bond to compensate the persons claiming compensation for death caused in an illegal manner.