A Nepali man remained in jail for 41 years without any trial and was released in March this year. Calcutta High Court has directed the West Bengal government to pay him Rs 5 lakh compensation.
The two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj was hearing a suo moto case of Dipak Joshi. He was arrested in West Bengal’s Darjeeling in May 1980 on a murder charge.
He remained in Dum Dum Central Correctional Home as an undertrial prisoner. He was found to be mentally unfit for the trial. Subsequently, his mental health report was awaited which was not submitted. Therefore, he remained in detention.
The matter was highlighted by a news report and was brought to the notice of then Chief Justice.
Taking cognizance of the matter, the court asked a lawyer to file a plea for his release. Then Chief Justice T.B.N. Radhakrishnan and Justice Aniruddha Roy invoked the authority of the high court as per Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and Article 226 and Article 227 of the Indian constitution to order his release on March 17 of this year.
After his release, the High Court sought the state’s status report in connection to the case on March 22.
During the hearing, the High Court counsel stated that West Bengal Correction Services Prisoners (Unnatural Death Compensation) Scheme, 2019 and that the maximum payable compensation under said scheme was Rs 5 lakh.
The amount will be credited to Dipak’s account through the Consulate of Nepal within a period of 6 weeks.