Nagpur/Mumbai Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission has recommended the State Government to hold independent enquiry and appropriate action against police officials involved in alleged harassement, illegal action and misconduct with a senior citizen Devila Suryakant Mehta and her daughter-in-law, residents of Mumbai.
As the human rights have been prima facie violated, the Commission deems it proper to award an interim compensation of Rs 1 Lakh to be paid by the State to the complainant in four weeks from the date of receipt of order and report compliance in four weeks thereafter.
According to complainant Devila Suryakant Mehta, who stays with her son Rajiv Mehta at Gokul building, Tejpal Road, her son had some dispute with one Bhavesh Shah regarding business transactions. Though the same was a civil dispute yet Bhavesh in collusion with Police Officials of D B Marg Police, I. T Marg and Gamdevi Police lodged three complaints and harassed the complainant and her family. The police arrested her son. Later in the guise of search came to the house when she was alone and started pestering to sign on blank papers. They alleged to have threatened her with dire consequences. She kept on requesting them that she was a senior citizen and suffering from cancer. But they still insisted her to sign documents. Another police team went to the bank where her daughter-in-law had gone and started harassing her. when she was back home the police prevented her from entering in the house.
The court had no doubt released her son on bail as the case has been registered as civil dispute. According to commission it was illegal action of registering three criminal cases pertaining to one and the same civil dispute, arresting her son as well as causing mental harassment to her and family members, forcing her to sign some documents without disclosing the contents etc. at the instance of an individual amounting not only violation of law but also human rights and so urged for appropriate order.
Despite repeated sensitizations and instruction by the Commission, Dy Commissioner of Police, Zone instead of holding enquiry by himself or through immediate subordinate, the Sr Inspector of Gamdevi Police Station probed and submitted report directly to Commission. The very object of Commission’s was defeated. Inspite of several opportunities no independent report was received. Even the Dy Commissioner of Police did not appear in person inspite of clear directions.
The commission finally directed the the Spl. Inspector General of Police for investigating. Investigation Wing of the Commission itself looked into allegatons and found out whether the allegations were justified. The report of the Spl Inspector General of Police clearly indicated there was not only voilation of procedure but also violation of human rights. The record disclosed that that there was a dispute regarding non¬payment of certain amount by Rajiv son of the complainant and one Bhavesh. Rajiv issued a cheque and it was dishonoured. A case of simple cheque bounce. In collusion with Police Bhavesh resorted to get registered three criminal cases in three different police stations within a span of 13 days for the offence under Section 420, 467. 488. 471, 420. 508 IPC and got Rajiv arrested.
The investigation by investigation wing disclosed that there was failure on the part of Police in following the procedures to be followed and even violation of guidelines laid down by Supreme Court.
On considering entire records the Commission was of the view that there was not only violation of procedural law but also serious violations of human rights of the aged and ill complainant and her family.