The Hindu – BANGALORE, June 6, 2013
Woman gets Rs. 10 lakh for custodial death of husband
The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday directed the State government to give Rs. 10 lakh as compensation to a 26-year-old woman whose husband died after being allegedly tortured by the police in Bellary.
Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar passed the order while allowing a petition filed by Kadiyam alias Kondapalli Saraswathi, a resident of Marrigudem village in Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh.
She alleged that her husband, Prasad, died after “third degree torture” by the Cowl Bazaar police in January 2007.
The court said the amount should be recovered from the police personnel who were in charge at the station during the incident. Some of the accused have been convicted by the jurisdictional court.
Ms. Saraswathi claimed that the police detained her husband, who was working as a cleaner in a lorry, on January 24, 2007, and beat him black and blue.
As her husband was the sole earning member of the family, she claimed a compensation of Rs. 30 lakh as she had to look after two young daughters.
(This is a case intervened by SICHREM during the National Project of Preventing Torture in India. SICHREM’s counsel Adv Siji Malayil appeared for the victim’s family.)
Karnataka State Human Rights Commission
4th Floor, 5th Phase,
M.S.Building, Bangalore- 560001
Subject: Complaint of Judicial Death of Gurusiddappa (70), inmate of Gulbarga Jail.
The New Indian Express 20th May 2013, reports in its columns the information of the death of Gurusiddappa (70years), a resident of Desanagi village of Jewargi taluk, an under-trial he was ill and admitted to the Gulbarga District Government Hospital on May 14 and discharged on Saturday. After returning to jail, Gurusiddappa complained of ill-health and was taken back to the hospital. However, he died within half-an-hour, police said on Sunday.
He had been arrested by the Ashok Nagar police in 1992 in connection with a murder case and was released on bail two years later. He violated the conditions of bail and was absconding. The police arrested him three months ago.
We file this complaint with a hope that a detailed enquiry into the whole matter is initiated, and that your good offices look into the circumstances involving the death of Mr. Gurusiddappa and
1. To look into the exact causes of the death,
2. The functions and the maintenance of the prison,
3. Whether there were medial personnel and facilities available for the treatment at the jail?
4. Whether there was a failure on the part of the jail personnel, doctors in treatment?
5. How did he die after getting treatment for 5 days (admitted o 14th and death on Sunday)?
6.To inquire further if the procedures and guidelines laid down by the NHRC in its letter No.66/SG/NHRC/93 dated 14 December 1993 on reporting custodial deaths and also with reference to the letter vide No 40/3/95/LD dated 21 June 1995 has been adhered &d followed ?
7.To inquire, if the guidelines laid by the NHRC, as per the letter addressed by the Chairperson to the Chief ministers vide letter dated 10th August, 1995 on the video filming of post-mortem examinations in cases of custodial deaths has been followed?
8. To also inquire, if the guidelines laid down by the NHRC, as per the letter addressed by the Chairperson to the Chief Ministers vide letter No.NHRC/ID/PM/96/57 dated 27th March 1997.
Head – Programs
The Additional Director General of Police
and Inspector General of Prisons,
No.4, Seshadri Road,
Bangalore 560 009
Subject: Complaint of Judicial Death of Mohamed Haneef KhajiSab (35), undertrial in Bijapur Jail.
The Kannada daily dated May 18, 2013; reports in its columns the information of the death of Mohamed Haneef KhajiSab (35), under trial in Bijapur Jail.
An under-trial Mohamed Haneef KhajiSab is said to have been ill and was admitted to the district hospital and succumbed without responding to the treatment given. He had been arrested by the Gandhi Chowk Police and was in judicial custody.
We file this complaint with a hope that a detailed enquiry into the whole matter is initiated, and that your good offices look into the circumstances involving the death of Mohamed Haneef KhajiSab and
- To look into the exact causes of the death,
- The functions and the maintenance of the prison,
- Whether there were medial personnel and facilities available for the treatment at the jail?
- Whether there was a failure on the part of the jail personnel, doctors in treatment?
- To inquire further if the procedures and guidelines laid down by the NHRC in its letter No.66/SG/NHRC/93 dated 14 December 1993 on reporting custodial deaths and also with reference to the letter vide No 40/3/95/LD dated 21 June 1995 has been adhered & followed ?
- To inquire, if the guidelines laid by the NHRC, as per the letter addressed by the Chairperson to the Chief ministers vide letter dated 10th August, 1995 on the video filming of post-mortem examinations in cases of custodial deaths has been followed?
- To also inquire, if the guidelines laid down by the NHRC, as per the letter addressed by the Chairperson to the Chief Ministers vide letter No.NHRC/ID/PM/96/57 dated 27th March 1997.
Head – Programs
The South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (SICHREM), a South India human rights organization based in Bangalore working for the protection, promotion and defense of human rights welcomes the decision of the Communist Party Of India (Marxist)’s call for abolishing of death penalty in the country and wanting it to be changed into imprisonment till death in rarest of the rare cases.
SICHREM appreciates the decision taken on Monday (13 May 2013) at the two-day Central Committee meeting and also congratulates the CPM which became the first national-level political party to seek abolition of the “arbitrarily implemented” death penalty in India and advocating for an indefinite jail term in the rarest of the rare cases and that the death penalty, as it is in practice is arbitrarily implemented. It is inhuman and after execution irreversible”
The CPM joins the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in Tamil Nadu and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in J&K that have argued that India needs to join the 97 countries in the world that have already abolished death penalty.
Moreover, throughout the world, the calls for abolition of death penalty and also to place a moratorium on all death sentences is increasing with a view to abolish death sentences for all crimes from the law books and thereby the demand for signing of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. (II OPT to ICCCPR on abolition of Death Penalty)
SICHREM also joins CPM and all other organizations and individuals in asking the Government of India to amend its statutes to accommodate abolition of death penalty.
They are campaigning for abolition of capital punishment
The Supreme Court ruling on Friday that delay in deciding the mercy petition of a prisoner sentenced to death was no grounds to commute the sentence to life imprisonment, has come as disappointment to human rights activists campaigning for abolition of capital punishment.
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the plea of Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar, a Khalistan Liberation Force terrorist condemned to hang for triggering a bomb blast that killed nine people in Delhi in 1993, that his death sentence be commuted to life imprisonment due to inordinate delay in deciding his mercy petition.
The ruling has stirred a debate on what impact it will have on the fate of four of Veerappan’s aides languishing in Belgaum jail whose mercy petition was rejected by the President. But the execution of the death sentence was stayed by the Supreme Court pending the disposal of the petition involving Bhullar seeking commuting death sentence to life imprisonment on the grounds of delay in carrying out the original sentence.
Gnanaprakash, Bilavendran, Simon and Meesekara Madaiah were awarded life sentence by the designated TADA court in September 2001 but the Supreme Court, in 2004, enhanced the punishment to death sentence as the four were found guilty of plotting and carrying out the Palar blast in which 21 policemen were killed in April 1993.
Their mercy petition before the President remained undecided for nine years till Pranab Mukherjee rejected it in February this year.
Speaking to The Hindu , Mathew Philips, South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (SICHREM), said that the ruling came as a disappointment because as defenders of human rights they were against capital punishment.
“Even in the United Nations there is growing consensus towards abolishing the death sentence and the judicial system should take cognisance of the emerging views against death penalty and come out with a ruling that facilitates its abolition,” he added.
Human rights activist and advocate M. Ramesh of Belgaum said that the decision of the Supreme Court in the Bhullar case should not be interpreted that it would have the same impact on the fate of the four Veerappan aides as the grounds in the two cases were different.
Sharing his views, he said that there were other reasons being prayed for before the court and not just the element of inordinate delay. “All the four convicts were first sentenced to life imprisonment which runs for a period of 14 years but they have served a term which is much more than that. The rejection of the mercy petition by the President’s office came nearly after nine years,” he said.
“As the State does not give life, [it] does not have right to take it either,” Fr. Ambrose Pinto, administrator of St. Joseph’s Evening College, said at a demonstration against capital punishment here on Tuesday. The agitation was called following the spate of executions with President Pranab Mukherjee rejecting mercy petitions.
Addressing a gathering of human rights activists, he said that there was no evidence to suggest that death penalties contributed to a decline in the crime rate.
Referring to the recent hanging of Afzal Guru, Director of the South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (SICHREM), Mathews Philip, said: “Being a democracy, we are still following death penalty laws implemented during the British regime, oppressing human rights. Killing a man in secrecy and not letting his family perform the last rites is not the mark of democracy. It’s a grave human rights violation.”
In a memorandum submitted to Governor H.R. Bhardwaj, the demonstrators sought the commutation of death sentences awarded to forest brigand Veerapan’s aides, Bilevendran, Simon, Madaiah and Gnanaprakash, who were convicted of killing 22 persons in landmine blasts in Palar.
Activists from SICHREM, Peoples Democratic Forum, National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations and People’s Union for Civil Liberties – Karnataka participated in the protest.
Source: The Hindu; Dated: 20 February 2013
Slain forest brigand Veerappan’s wife Muthulakshmi on Tuesday expressed her solidarity with the human right activists who are seeking commutation of the death sentence of his four associates.
Participating in a demonstration held in front of Town Hall here, Muthulakshmi said people of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu should forget their differences and join hands to save lives of the four convicts.
“Media and government is projecting the four men as Veerappan’s associates. In fact, these men were lifted from their homes and sent to jail. Nobody, including the police, have an idea of what happened inside the forest during Veerappan’s time,” she said.
South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (SICHREM), People’s Union for Civil Liberties and other human rights organisations under the banner of National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations, Karnataka chapter, participated in the protest.
Later, members of these organisations submitted a memorandum to Governor H R Bharadwaj.
Mathews Philip, executive director, SICHREM said execution by hanging was a crime in civil society.
“We are not against punishment for wrong doers. But, the method of punishment is what we are opposing,” he said.
Source: Deccan Herald; Dated: 20 February 2013