Probe into man's custodial death in Unnao not fair and impartial: SC

According to the petition, the mother of Mohd. Faizal made a complaint that her son was brutally murdered in police custody on May 21, 2021, at Police Station Bangermau, District Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, by the local police officials.
Probe into man's custodial death in Unnao not fair and impartial: SC
Supreme Court of India

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has said the probe into the custodial death of Mohammad Faizal in Unnao district in Uttar Pradesh could not be said to be fair and impartial. "After going through the records placed before us, we are prima facie of the view that the manner in which the investigation has been conducted by the investigating officer cannot be said to be fair and impartial and the complaint of the petitioner, in our considered view, deserves indulgence of this Court," the top court said.

Thereafter, a bench of Justice Ajay Rastogi and Bela M Trivedi directed to hand over the case to the Lucknow police. "We have an option either to send the matter to CBI for further re-investigation, but after we have heard counsel for the parties, consider it appropriate at this stage that let a senior police officer, Bhagwan Swarup, Inspector General of Police, Intelligence, HQ, Lucknow shall personally undertake further investigation of the complaint made by the petitioner on which FIR No.160 of 2021 has been registered, in a fair and impartial manner and report be furnished to this Court within a period of eight weeks, " the Court said.

The top court directed the respondent State to hand over all the papers including the charge sheet and other material in reference to FIR to the senior officer. The Court was hearing the plea filed by the mother of the deceased through advocate Mehmood Pracha. According to the petition, the mother of Mohd. Faizal made a complaint that her son was brutally murdered in police custody on May 21, 2021, at Police Station Bangermau, District Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, by the local police officials.

The petitioner had moved Allahabad High Court seeking that the investigation either may be transferred to CBI or to some other independent agency so that there can at least be a fair and transparent investigation. The top court noted that Allahabad High Court disposed of the plea with direction to the prosecution to summon additional accused of trial, if necessary. The bereaved mother moved the SC against the Allahabad High Court order. The Court noted that despite the fact that no one has supported the case of the prosecution, the charge sheet was filed under Section 304 IPC and the Sessions Judge has framed charges later under Section 302/34 IPC.

The Court said, "We have not been able to endorse our satisfaction of a fair and independent investigation and the manner in which the investigation has been conducted by the Circle Officer of the Police Station under whose jurisdiction the charge sheet came to be filed on the basis of the charges later been framed under Section 302 IPC on December 2, 2021."

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