HC orders damage to family of youth who died in custody

Cuttack: Holding Odisha government vicariously liable for the June 2012 custodial death of Kuldeep Mohapatra of Bhubaneswar, the Orissa High Court today ordered the government to pay damages of Rs five lakh to the youth’s family.

Based on the reports submitted by CBI and a local magisterial inquiry, Justice B R Sarangi ordered the compensation to be paid to the youth s father within four months.

Kuldeep s father Rabindranath Mohapatra had approached the HC demanding damages of Rs 20 lakh.

He had alleged that Kuldeep was picked up by Saheed Nagar police on charges of extorting money from public posing as a police officer and was declared dead at the Capital Hospital following custodial torture.

Police had, however, denied the allegations saying the people had thrashed him mercilessly before police rescued him.

Following Kuldeep’s death, Odisha government had ordered a magisterial inquiry into it. But the HC on a prayer by the father in August 2014 had ordered CBI’s Superintendent in Bhubaneswar to submit a report to it after conducting an independent inquiry into the incident.

Both CBI as well as magisterial inquiries held Saheed Nagar police of Bhubaneswar responsible for the untimely death of the 27-year-old man.

Two policemen of the police station had been suspended after the youth’s death because instead of shifting the injured Kuldeep to hospital immediately, the policemen had detained him inside the police station for long and allegedly tortured him.