State

HC seeks report on custodial deaths

Shillong, April 13: The High Court of Meghalaya has directed the Inspector General of Prisons to file an affidavit indicating the list of persons who died in custody since 2012.

Hearing a PIL on the matter, a bench headed by the Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee said, “A further affidavit should be filed by the Inspector-General of Prisons indicating the complete list of persons who have died in custody since 2012. It would be best if a particular cut-off date were to be indicated.”

“The affidavit should also confirm that there has been no custodial death other than those indicated in such affidavit so that if any anomaly is found or any further name discovered, appropriate action may be taken against the Inspector-General”.

The court said the more alarming feature, as duly pointed out by Amicus Curiae is that in an affidavit affirmed on February 26, 2018 by the then Under Secretary to the State, the office of the Director of Health Services (MI) indicated the names of five persons who had suffered custodial death in the years 2013 and 2014, though the year of death of the fifth person is not indicated in the table appended to the relevant affidavit; but these names do not figure in the voluminous particulars filed on behalf of the state.

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