Advocate Siji Malayil and Advocate Mercy, two of SICHREM’s part-time advocates, have been involved in helping the family of a victim of custodial death obtain justice. This case was among the cases of torture taken up by the “National Project for Preventing Torture in India” initiated by People’s Watch.
On 12 August 2006, the husband of the complainant, Mrs Krishnamurthy, was taken to the BEML Police Station, Kolar District, after an earlier altercation with the police. Whilst in police custody, Mrs Krishnamurthy’s husband was assaulted and subsequently died from his injuries.
The victim’s death was witnessed by two friends. However, these witnesses were personally threatened by the Sub Inspector of Police that if they revealed this incident to anyone, they would be framed under false charges.
The complainant made several complaints to higher officials in different authorities to initiate action against the police but with no success.
A Private Complaint by SICHREM, on behalf of the complainant, was filed against the four accused members of the BEML Police Station.
The matter was referred to the Judicial Magistrate of First Class, K.G.F., Kolar Court (the Court) who ordered the Circle Inspector of Police, Orgum Circle (CPI) to investigate the case.
The CPI allegedly investigated the matter and filed a First Information Report and filed a False B (Bogus) report before the Court i.e. saying that this was not a case of custodial torture and death.
But Advocate Siji Malayil and Advocate Mercy challenged this False B report as the CPI had not taken a statement from the complainant nor examined the eyewitnesses. Advocate Siji Malayil and Advocate Mercy continued to argue the case before the Court.
The Court found that the CPI had not done a proper investigation. The Court took into record the sworn statement of the complainant, deposed the eyewitnesses and summonsed the accused to court.
On 25 February 2010, the Court registered a criminal case of murder under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code against the accused persons.
The accused persons must appear before the Court on 26 April 2010.