The Allahabad High Court has transferred the probe into the alleged custodial death of a 24-year-old man to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) [Ajay Kumar Yadav v. the State of UP].
A Division Bench of Justices Surya Prakash Kesarwani and Piyush Agrawal said that the evidence on record prima facie revealed commission of the offense by accused policemen and high ranking officers had attempted to protect the accused.
The entire effort of the police is to somehow give clean chit to the accused and for this purpose important evidence is being left out while some evidence is being "created and manipulated", the Court added. In view of that, a fair investigation by State Police does not appear to be possible, the Court said while transferring the probe to CBI.
The Court said in its order that the criminal justice system mandates that any investigation into the crime should be fair, in accordance with the law, and should not be tainted. It is equally important that interested or influential persons are not able to misdirect or hijack the investigation, so as to throttle a fair investigation resulting in the offenders escaping the punitive course of law. The Court was hearing a plea by Ajay Kumar Yadav, the brother of the deceased Krishna Yadav alias Pujari.
Pujari was allegedly taken from his house by the police on February 11, 2021, and detained at the police station. According to the first information report (FIR), around 10 policemen had forcibly entered the house of the complainant and used filthy language against women, before taking away Pujari. The complainant went to the police station to meet his brother but was not allowed. He received information the morning the next day that Pujari had passed away while in custody. However, as per the police version, the deceased had met with a motorcycle accident and was apprehended when the public manhandled him. Since, it was a custodial death a judicial inquiry was done by Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jaunpur, who recorded statements of 16 inquiry witnesses.
The Court after examining the material on record and statements of various witnesses said that the story developed by the accused policemen that the deceased was brought to the hospital is not supported by their own statements. The order stated that The story of the accident of the deceased in the afternoon of 11.02.2021 is a story prima facie developed by the police so as to give a different colour for the death of the deceased.
The court noted that it is admitted case of the respondents that the deceased had received various injuries, which is reflected from the G.D. Entry No. 05. The statement made by the mother and brother of the deceased before the 14 CMJ, Jaunpur regarding brutal beating by the police and consequent injuries to the deceased, prima facie corroborates with the photographs of the deceased and a little reference in the G.D. Entry No. 5. Surprisingly, the post mortem report does not contain the injuries present on a vital part of the body of the deceased which can be easily seen in the undisputed photographs filed along with the supplementary affidavit.
Thus, prima facie, post mortem report appears to be manipulated or procured under undue influence, the Court said. The court said that the perusal of the counter affidavit and copy of the case diary as produced before us by the Government Advocate prima facie shows that the entire effort of the police is to somehow give clean chit to the accused and for this purpose important evidences are being left and some evidence is being created and manipulated.
Therefore, the investigation was transferred to CBI. The Court ordered that investigation is transferred/entrusted forthwith to respondent No.5 (CBI). The respondent nos. 1, 2, 3 & 4 shall ensure that the entire evidence and papers relating to the aforesaid case crime/FIR are transferred to Investigating Officer of respondent No.5 for investigation.