HC orders second autopsy on body of 'BJP worker' by Thursday

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Kolkata, Nov 3 (PTI) The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday ordered second post mortem examination on the body of a man who died in judicial custody 'due to torture', as alleged by his brother, by November 5.

A division bench of Justices Sanjib Banerjee and Arijit Banerjee also ordered that two of the family members of the victim, Madan Ghorai alias Kalipada, who the BJP claimed to be its active worker, could remain present during the autopsy to be conducted at state-run R G Kar Medical College and Hospital.

The bench directed that the postmortem examination report be submitted before it on November 10.

The next date of hearing was fixed on November 18.

Kalipada was brought to a state-run hospital in Kolkata from a correctional home in Purba Medinipur district and he died there last month. The victim's elder brother had moved the high court for a second autopsy claiming that the first one was not properly conducted.

On October 16, a single bench of Justice Rajasekhar Mantha had said that since there are allegations of unnatural death and that too in custody, it was acceding to the request of the petitioner for a second post mortem examination.

Challenging the order, the West Bengal government moved an urgent appeal before the division bench of justices Sanjib Banerjee and Arijit Banerjee on the same day. The division bench passed an interim stay on it saying the single bench will hear the matter again.

After hearing the case afresh, Justice Mantha on October 20 directed that a second postmortem examination be held on the body of Kalipada.

The state government again filed an appeal against this verdict in the division bench which upheld the verdict of the single bench on Tuesday.

Petitioner Swapan Ghorai had earlier submitted that his brother was accused of kidnapping a woman at Patashpur in Purba Medinipur district and was in judicial remand since September 27 following his arrest.

The petitioner alleged before the court that Kalipada might have been tortured in custody and also claimed that he was brought to Kolkata for treatment from the correctional home in the district without the knowledge of the family.

He submitted that the family was informed of his death on October 13 and was asked to collect the body from the state-run SSKM Hospital here. PTI dc NN NN