Conduct inquiry into claims of torture of drug case accused by jail officials: Kerala HC to DG Prisons

The Kerala High Court on Monday directed the Director General of Prisons to conduct an inquiry into the allegations of torture by jail officials of four accused in a drug case who were arrested along with the victim in the Tanur custodial death incident.

Justice P V Kunhikrishnan asked the Prisons DG to carry out the inquiry and file a report within three weeks.

The order came on a plea by the father of one of the accused, who claimed that his son and the other accused in the drug case were being tortured, both physically and mentally, by some of the jail officials.

The petitioner, in his plea filed through advocate P V Jeevesh, has also alleged that the accused persons were tortured to force them into signing statements that they had possessed psychotropic substances as claimed by the police.

On August 1, police had arrested five youngsters, allegedly based on a tip-off, on suspicion of possessing synthetic drugs. A case was registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

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One of the five, 30-year-old Tamir Jifri, had died while in custody, allegedly due to police torture.

The petitioner — Aboobacker K V — has sought investigation into the alleged torture of the accused in custody by the prison officials and the state police. His petition has also sought urgent medical examination of the four accused who are in custody.

Police had claimed that the accused were taken into custody with 18.14 grams of MDMA, a synthetic drug.

Eight police officials of Tanur police station were suspended pending inquiry in connection with the alleged custodial torture.

The Kerala government had later handed over the case to the CBI.

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