Compensate family of man killed in custody, government told


New Delhi : The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Thursday directed the Delhi government to pay Rs.300,000 to the family of the man who died in custody of Delhi Police eight years ago.

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Observing that the facts and circumstances of the case indicated that the police had inflicted the fatal injury when the man was brought to the police station after discharge from the hospital, the panel said: “The state must compensate the family of the deceased Lekhraj by paying monetary relief.”

The commission also directed the chief secretary of Delhi to file a compliance report along with proof of payment within eight weeks.

According to the police, Lekhraj was arrested in 2000 for allegedly committing robbery and was taken to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in an injured condition.

The medical examination did not reveal any head injuries and after that Lekhraj was lodged in the police lock-up at Tilak Marg. Around 4 a.m. on April 1, 2000, he was found dead in the police lock-up.

His post-mortem examination indicated the “death was due to head injury and tuberculosis of both lungs. The injuries were recent in nature and could be produced as a result of fall as alleged.”

The sub-divisional magistrate’s inquiry into death observed: “From the statements of the eye witnesses, and doctors who carried out the examination of Lekhraj prove that this head injury must have been inflicted on the deceased during further interrogation by the police personnel while he was in their custody after discharge from hospital.”