Libertatem Magazine

Custodial Violence on a Prisoner Which Led To the Death Is Abhorrent and Not Acceptable: Supreme Court

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The police force in the country is supposed to be the protectors of the state. However, many times that is not the case, the protectors turn offenders. Be it the Nilabati Behera case, the Kathua rape case or even the recent Jayraj and Fenix incident. The police force of the country has terrorised its citizens many times.


The victim, Kasinath Naik had visited the Purighat Police Station in order to complain about an assault he faced. Instead of being protected, he was subjected to the same offence by two police officers in the state, Pratap Kumar Choudhury and Pravat Chandra Mohanty. He was beaten up to the extend that he passes out stool and urine and was bleeding profusely. The person who accompanied him to the station was not allowed to go to the hospital with him instead was chained at the station. Naik passed away in the hospital the next morning. The trial court held the officers guilty and the same was upheld by the High Court.


The main argument put forward by the accused was that the offence that they were charged with, under Section 324 of the IPC was a compoundable offence at the time of the incident. The


The Court emphasised the importance of the police force in the country when stating,

“The Police of State is the protector of law and order. The people look forward to the Police to protect their life and property will be protected by the police and injustice and offence committed on them shall be redressed and the guilty be punished.”  

The two-judge bench consisting of Justices Ashok Bhushan and Ajay Rastogi further stated that,

The present is a case where the accused who were police officers, one of them being in-charge of Station and other Senior Inspector have themselves brutally beaten the deceased, who died the same night. When the protector of people and society himself instead of protecting the people adopts brutality and inhumanly beat the person who comes to the police station, it is a matter of great public concern.”

The Court also quoted that,

“The beating of a person in the Police Station is the concern for all and causes a sense of fear in the entire society…The custodial violence on the deceased which led to the death is abhorrent and not acceptable in the civilized society.”

The Court convicted them under section 324A of the Indian Penal Code, however, taking consideration of their age, the court reduced their sentence from 1 year to 6 months. The Supreme Court also enhanced the compensation by 3.5 lacs in addition to the compensation that the High Court decree. This would be paid to the legal heirs of the deceased. The Court held that the nature of the offence was too heinous for it to be deemed compoundable.

Pravat Chandra Mohanty vs. State of Odisha [CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 125 OF 2021] is now on Telegram. Follow us for regular legal updates and judgement from the court. Follow us on Google News, InstagramLinkedInFacebook & Twitter. You can also contribute blog, articles, story tip, judgment and many more and help us spread awareness for a better society. Submit Your Post Now.

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