State Govt To Pay An Amount Of Rs.15 Lakh Compensation To Family Of Teenager Who Died In Police Custody: Calcutta High Court


The Calcutta High Court in the case In Re: Unnatural death of a teenaged boy in Mallarpur; Arijit Adhikary v. State of West Bengal & Ors observed and has awarded the compensation for an amount of Rs. 15 lakhs to the family of a 15-year-old who died due to an unnatural death in the year 2020 in the police custody at the Mallarpur Police Station of Birbhum district.
The division bench headed by Acting Chief Justice T. S. Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharyya in the case observed and stated that there being a sorry state of affairs wherein a young boy of 15 years died in police custody. Thus, the court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation and the Sup Motu writ petition regarding the incident.
In the present case, the court observed that the father of the victim boy is said to have been offered a temporary job in the panchayat and the said family is living below the poverty line. The court while considering the facts and circumstances of the case is of the view that a sum of Rs.15 lakhs shall be paid as compensation to the family of the victim boy. Thus, the said amount has been qualified by the court while taking note of various factors which includes the fact that the recommendation of NHRC recommending Rs.6 lakhs monetary relief for custodial death (police) which being in the year 2021 and the compensation is being ordered by this Court in 2023.
It has also been directed by the bench that the State to pay the amount of Rs. 15 lakh within 15 days.
Further, it has also been stated by the court that it being the duty of the State to sensitize all its police officers on their duties and responsibilities under the provisions as stated under the Juvenile Justice (the Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and the West Bengal Juvenile Justice (the Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2017.
The counsel, Advocate General S. N. Mookherjee appearing before the court observed and has also informed that the disciplinary action was being taken against the police officers who were stationed in the police station and the court also issued the order of punishment.
Therefore, the court stated that the order of punishment being the stoppage of annual increment which is for a period of one year.
Further, the court in the case also elaborated various rules as specified under Rule 8, provided under the West Bengal Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2017 and it has also been directed by the court to the State in order to take steps in terms of the Rules and issue appropriate guidelines giving wide publicity.