Delhi HC orders Swift conclusion of Inquiry into Custodial Death

The Delhi High Court has directed the prompt conclusion of a magisterial inquiry into the death of a 32-year-old man allegedly in the custody of officials from Subhash Place police station on July 23 last year.

The wife of the victim, Sheikh Sahadat, had filed a plea seeking the registration of an FIR against the implicated officers and the setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for an impartial investigation.

Justice Jyoti Singh stressed the need for expeditious action, noting the trial court’s delay in addressing the application for FIR registration under Section 156(3) of the Cr.P.C. due to the pending magisterial inquiry.

The court’s directive mandated the conclusion of the magisterial inquiry into Sahadat’s death within three months, ensuring a swift resolution to the case.

Senior advocate Rebecca John, representing the deceased’s wife, put light on the state’s apparent insensitivity toward the matter, stressing the severity of the allegations of custodial violence.

She cited a video recorded by the deceased’s family during their visit to the mortuary, which purportedly depicted signs of physical abuse on Sahadat’s body.

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In response, the court asked the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) concerned to expedite proceedings, including the prompt submission of the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) report.

The court expressed optimism that both the magistrate overseeing the inquiry and the CMM handling the FIR application would approach the matter with empathy, sensitivity, and diligence, ensuring timely and thorough action.

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