For ‘third degree torture’, HC issues notices to Patiala SSP, other police officers

For allegedly giving electric shocks on private parts of a 40-year-old and use of third degree torture in police custody, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday issued notices to the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Patiala.

Notices were also issued to Davinder Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police; Karnail Singh, Station House Officer, and Gurmeet Singh, Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI), Police Station, Ghanaur, Patiala.

Contending on behalf of petitioner Balwinder Singh, a resident of Patiala, advocate Navkiran Singh demanded a judicial probe into the "custodial torture", and sought initiation of criminal action against the errant police officers.

Significantly, an order passed by a lower court of Rajpura clearly states that the police officers had used "third degree torture" on Balwinder. Taking serious note of the multiple injuries on his private parts, a Judicial Magistrate (first class) had on August 24 reprimanded the policemen.

The magistrate was deciding a request of Patiala Police seeking police remand of Balwinder, who was booked on charges of attempt to murder and attack on a public servant on duty. Shocked over the medico legal report (MLR) furnished by the Patiala Police, the magistrate had observed that "all these injuries are fresh in nature which were not present at the time of arrest nor when the accused was remanded to police custody. This clearly shows that police has used third degree torture against accused". The magistrate had summoned senior police officers to explain the torture.

Significantly, the day Balwinder was taken into police custody (August 22), his first MLR report had read only three minor injuries including abrasion on back and bruise on left shoulder. After the police remand of one day had expired, the second MLR report had read serious and multiple injuries on Balwinder. The magistrate had declined his further police remand.

The counsel for Balwinder had told the magistrate that the accused was taken to police station, Ganda Kheri, and thereafter to CIA Staff, Patiala, where he was subjected to all the third degree torture.

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