HC pull up Hyderabad Police on third-degree torture

Hyderabad: Telangana High Court has come down heavily against the Hyderabad Police for resorting to third-degree torture on two accused persons facing theft charges. In an unprecedented move, the Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Abhishek Reddy on Monday summoned three doctors of Osmania General Hospital to the court to examine the accused and submit a spot report about their injuries. In the report, they confirmed that the injuries were recent and were due to torture.

The High Court was hearing the Habeas Corpus petitions moved by the wives of the two accused, Syed Sohail and Syed Mohammed, who were allegedly picked up by the police on 08-09-2019, and the arrest was not shown. When the habeas corpus petition was filed, the police showed their arrest and later on, by the orders of the High Court, produced them in Court on Monday. The victims showed their injuries on their backs by removing their shirts in the open court.

The Division Bench questioned the Government Pleader, who on instructions of the police, stated that those injuries were old injuries and the police never tortured the accused and also presented reports from a private hospital. The Bench pulled up as to how these persons were taken to a private hospital when the law mandates that they must be seen and treated only at Government hospitals.

The Registry then informed the Superintendent of Osmania General Hospital to send a team of three doctors to the court immediately to examine the accused. The accused were taken to the chambers of the Chief Justice and examined. The doctors submitted a report in a sealed envelope to the Court, which the bench read and stated that the doctors opined that these injuries were recent and were a result of force.

The Chief Justice remarked that this horrific use of third-degree methods by the police is reprehensible and the guilty officers will be brought to book. He emphasised on how the nation’s Home Minister himself called for an end of using third-degree methods on accused and wanted the police to heed his advice.

The bench directed that the cases against the accused will not be investigated by the West Zone police, but instead will be done by the Cyberabad Police Commissioner who has to submit a report to the Court within two weeks. The bench also wanted strict action to be taken against the officers responsible for the use of such third-degree methods against the accused.

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