Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Patna HC directs Bihar to pay Rs 10 lakh to man whose son died in police encounter 20 years ago

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The Patna High Court has directed the Bihar government to pay Rs 10 lakh compensation within four weeks in the case of a passerby who was killed during a police encounter.

The Court ordered that if the government did not pay the compensation amount within the stipulated time, then the government will have to pay with 24 percent interest.

A single-judge bench of Justice Mohit Kumar Shah gave this order after hearing the petition filed on behalf of the deceased’s father Ramanand Rai.

The court, in a 68-page order, said government officials have admitted that a passer-by had died in a shootout during the encounter. One innocent died from being shot while the country’s Constitution gives everyone the right to live. The government machinery was not able to perform its duties properly. No one’s life can be taken away, the Court remarked while disposing of the petition directing the government to pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh within four weeks to the petitioner.

Ramanand Rai’s son Ranvijay Kumar was going to Sandalpur Hostel in Kumhar with two other students on December 28, 2000 at 4:30 pm. Meanwhile, an encounter between the police and criminals started near the Kumhar police post. In this, the applicant’s son Ranvijay Kumar died after being shot.

An FIR was lodged against the unidentified under case number 265/2000 at Agamkua police station for the death by the bullet during the encounter. The post-mortem of the deceased stated the cause of death as the firearm. After this, the father of the deceased submitted an application to the Patna DM for the amount of compensation and a government job to a member of the family. On the application, the DM gave the responsibility of investigating the entire matter to the Patna City SDO.

The SDO entrusted the investigation of the entire incident to Fatuha CO. On the order of the SDO, Fatuha CO, in its report, said that in the firing between police and criminals, one bullet hit the deceased in the chest causing his death. Meanwhile, the father of the deceased approached the Human Rights Commission for compensation. The Human Rights Commission summoned the report by responding to the DM, but seeing no relief from anywhere, the applicant filed an application in the High Court, requesting compensation.

The Human Rights Commission summoned the Chief Secretary of the state regarding the matter. The commission asked the state government to pay compensation to the applicant as a humanitarian gesture and closed the case from here. But the petitioner did not get any relief from anywhere.

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On getting relief from nowhere, the petitioner approached Patna High Court. This application was strongly opposed by the government in the High Court. Citing several earlier decisions of the High Court, it was said that compensation cannot be given on such an incident. However, the court did not accept any argument.

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