Complaint to SHRC on a case of Custodial Death

June 20, 2012
Honourable Justice S.R. Nayak
Karnataka State Human Rights Commission, 
5th Floor, 5th Phase,Multi-Storied Building,
Dr.Ambedkar Vidhana Veedhi, Bangalore – 560 001.
Dear Sir,
Sub: Complaint on death of Ashok while in custody of Kerala police in Yelahanka BSF camp.

The contents for this complaint is drawn from the English newspaper, The Hindu dated May 28, 2012 and is place before your good offices for action and justice. The paper reports that, A 30-year-old man identified as Ashok, who was brought to the city was in the custody of a police team from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala and he was found dead under mysterious circumstances at the Border Security Force’s training facility at Yelahanka here on Sunday morning.

According to city police sources, it is stated that he was found hanging from a piece of his own clothing inside a toilet at the BSF Guest House where he had been lodged by his Kerala police escorts.

Joint Commissioner of Police B. Dayanand said that Ashok was in the custody of a team from Thiruvananthapuram’s anti-piracy squad, which was led by an officer of the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police. The detainee, a resident of Banashankari III Stage here, had surrendered before a Magistrate on May 22 along with his father Sudhakar (58) at Thiruvananthapuram in a case involving the production and sale of pirated CDs and DVDs.

It is stated, that, a case of custodial death has been registered at the Yelahanka (Old Town) Police Station and a Judicial Magistrate is conducting an inquest and the post-mortem reports are awaited. The paper reports the statement of Mr.Dayanand  “As per law, when a suspect is in police custody, nothing prevents the police from lodging the detainee at a place of their choice — it can be a hotel, lodge or in this case the BSF Guest House,” and added that the Kerala police team had also followed due procedure. Ashok’s lawyer here said that his client’s relatives have sought a judicial inquiry into the custodial death.

We file this complaint since there needs to be an investigation,

  1. To look into the exact cause of the death,
  2. Why was he lodged at the BSF training facility and whether that is allowed to be done?
  3. Whether he was referred to the government hospital in time?
  4. To also 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 ?
  5. To also 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?
  6. To 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.

Thanking you,

Yours Truly,

Head – Programs