Kundli-based activist badly tortured by police, kept in illegal confinement, confirms report submitted in HC

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An inquiry report on the allegations of illegal detention and custodial torture of Shiv Kumar – president of Kundli-based Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan – submitted by the then District and Sessions Judge of Faridabad (Deepak Gupta) before the Punjab and Haryana High Court has confirmed that the police had kept the activist in illegal confinement and also badly tortured him in January 2021.

Deepak Gupta is, at present, a judge at the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The inquiry report has concluded: “Shiv Kumar was picked up by the police on January 16, 2021, and was kept in illegal confinement till January 23, 2021 … He was shown to have been formally arrested at about 8.40 pm and was produced before the learned Magistrate, Sonipat. Shiv Kumar was badly tortured by the police, causing numerous injuries on various parts of his body, including fractures.”

The matter will come up for hearing before the high court on January 27, 2023. The inquiry had been marked by the high court in the matter on March 16, 2021, while hearing the petition filed by Shiv Kumar’s father, Rajbir, who – through his counsel Advocate Arshdeep Singh Cheema – had contended that his son was subjected to police torture and was illegally picked up, detained for seven days before producing him before the magistrate.

The high court had directed Deepak Gupta – the then District and Sessions Judge posted at Faridabad – to hold an inquiry with regard to the allegations of illegal detention and custodial torture of Shiv Kumar.

During the inquiry, statements of 15 witnesses – including policemen of Haryana, victim Shiv Kumar, Rajbir (Shiv Kumar’s father), Nodeep Kaur (labour activist), doctors of Sonipat Civil Hospital, doctors of GMCH (Government Medical College and Hospital) Chandigarh – were recorded by the inquiry officer.

“Prior to the medical examination of Shiv Kumar conducted on February 20, 2021, the medical board of GMCH, Sector 32, said that Shiv Kumar was examined as many as five times from January 24, 2021, to February 2, 2021, but none of the doctors of the Government Hospital, Sonipat, or the doctor deputed in jail performed their duty and they apparently danced to the tune of the police officials,” the inquiry report stated.

The inquiry report stated, “Apart from the failure of the said medical officers at Government Hospital, Sonipat, and at District Jail, Sonipat… even Vinay Kakran, who was posted as JMIC Sonipat at relevant time, appears to have not performed his duty as was required… It appears that either Shiv Kumar was not physically produced before the Magistrate and was made to sit outside in the police vehicle, or if produced, he was not in a position to speak anything to the Magistrate due to the threats given by the police, as he had already been subjected to torture right from January 16, 2021, onwards till he was produced before the Magistrate. Had the learned Magistrate seen the accused Shiv Kumar in person, he could have noticed the injuries visible on his body.”

The inquiry report further stated, “SI Shamsher Singh – who was Additional SHO of Police Station Kundli and was the IO of all the three cases and who had taken the police remand of Shiv Kumar – is directly responsible for the torture meted out to Shiv Kumar, along with the other police officials associated with him. It was his duty to ensure that there was no physical harm to the accused during the period of police remand. Instead of keeping a check on this, he was one of the perpetrators of the torture inflicted upon Shiv Kumar.”

The inquiry officer has stated that Inspector Ravi, who was SHO of Police Station Kundli at the relevant time, cannot escape from his responsibility. He was heading the police party on January 16, 2021, which picked up Shiv Kumar and kept him in illegal confinement.



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