Mumbai: This is a cold-blooded murder , life has become cheap, said a
division bench of Justice Bilal Nazki and Justice A R Joshi, while
coming down heavily on the police over the custodial death of Altaf
Altaf was picked up by the Ghatkopar police from his home at
Parksite in Vikhroli around 4 am on September 11, in connection with
a break-in case. Around 10 am, Altaf was sent to Rajawadi Hospital
where he was declared dead; the police insisted that he died of drug
overdose. Later, Altaf's mother, Mehrunisa moved the high court, alleging a
custodial killing by the Ghatkopar police. She has demanded a probe
into the case and a compensation of Rs 25 lakh.
On which the police in its reply stated that Altaf had consumed six intoxicating tablets, and "could barely
stand". "It is the drug overdose that killed him."
said the police report was at odds with the autopsy result of the
deceased, Altaf Shaikh from Vikhroli. During the last hearing, the
judges said based on the autopsy report, Altaf's death looked like a
murder in custody.
then summoned five doctors who conducted the postmortem on the
22-year-old youth who died in the Ghatkopar police
custody earlier last month.
Public prosecutor P A Pol said, a final decision on action against
the police could be taken only after the forensic and chemical
analysis reports on the cause of the death were available. The reply
invited the wrath of the judges and justice Nazki reminded Pol that he was a public
prosecutor, not a police employee.
He said, public
prosecutors are getting into the habit of being "persecutors"
protecting the police. "We do not expect this attitude. When you
tell a lie, you have to discover another lie, and this leads to a
cycle," justice Nazki said.
lives cannot be taken away like this. There was no allegation
against this poor boy. Life has become cheap," justice Nazki said.
"If the government has some sense of responsibility, it will take
some action on its part."
Assistant commissioner of police Prakash Wani, in a fresh affidavit,
told the court that Altaf was in a drowsy state when he was picked
up. Wani also referred to the inquest panchnama, which mentioned
that there was no external injury on Altaf s body.
however, drew his attention to the post-mortem report, which stated
that the youth died of head injury and haemorrhage. It also recorded
12 injuries on his body.
The court said it would not hesitate to initiate action against Wani
for filing a false affidavit.
The HC has
asked the five doctorsM E Bansude, A H Meshram, G S Chavan,
B G Chikkalkar and A P Raymaneto be present in court on Friday to
explain the cause of the death.
Wani told the court that a departmental inquiry had been started
against three officers , sub-inspector S Khedekar , head constable R
Kolekar and constable S Thombre. According to Wani, they treated
Altaf with kid gloves. The police carried Altaf in their arms to the
auto as he appeared to be drowsy, as if under the influence of some
strong medicine, said Wani. He also claimed that Altaf had even been