Illegally detaining youngsters can destroy their future: HC

Mumbai: Observing that youngsters’ entire future gets destroyed when they are illegally detained, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court recently ordered action against a group of policemen, who detained a teenager for over four hours. The HC has ordered the Maharashtra police to pay Rs 25,000 compensation to the youngster.

A bench of Justices Tanaji Nalawade and SM Gavhane was dealing with a plea filed by a 23-year-old boy, who along with his father was detained by Aurangabad Police over a cross complaint filed against the duo. The complaint was filed by the neighbors of the duo under charges of causing grievous hurt, which is a bailable offence.

However, the police, according to the boy, not only put them in the lock up but also handcuffed them and assaulted them, claiming that the offence was non-bailable.

In their petition, the father-son further accused the cops of virtually robbing them by taking away their gold rings and chain and also some cash and their mobile phones.

The police by filing an affidavit, denied all the charges and reiterated that the offence of causing grievous hurt by a weapon (section 324 of Indian Penal Code) is non-bailable.

Having heard the contentions, the bench led by Justice Nalawade said, "This court has no hesitation to hold that in the present matter, in view of the nature of dispute and nature of allegations, it was not necessary for police to make arrest and also produce the boy before the Magistrate for custody."

"The remand report itself shows that police did not wanted the custody of the duo for the purpose of investigation and so, it was necessary for the police to immediately release them if it did not want to arrest them for any other purpose," the bench noted.

The judges further noted the fact that both the boy and his father were kept illegally in the lock up from 10.00 am to 2.00 pm and after that they were shifted for taking them to concerned court.

"Thus, there was illegal detention of atleast four hours in the present matter," the bench ruled.

"While the father was working as a labour contractor, the son was a graduate when he was arrested. When youngsters like this boy are involved in such pity offence, the police needs to show sensitivity," the bench observed.

"Due to action of the police, the entire future and career of such youngster get destroyed. Present case shows that police did not show any such sensitivity and the things are otherwise," Justice Nalawade held.

The bench accordingly considered the status of the parties and the period for which they were illegally detained and ordered the Maharashtra police to pay a compensation of Rs 25,000 to them.

As far as the allegations that the policemen virtually robbed the duo by taking away their belongings, the bench directed the District Superintendent of Police, Aurangabad to look into the complaint and take action as per law against all the policemen named in the complaint.

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