The Punjab and Haryana High Court has on Tuesday directed a District and Sessions Judge at Faridabad to inquire into the allegations of illegal detention and custodial torture of labor activist Shiv Kumar who was arrested along with Nodeep Kaur by Sonepat police.
Justice Avneesh Jhingan passed the order during the hearing of a plea filed by Shiv Kumar’s father and after perusing four medical reports submitted by the State, pursuant to the Court’s earlier orders in the matter.
The plea filed by the father of the Labour Activist Shiv Kumar under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code for issuance of direction to transfer the investigation of cases in three different FIRs registered under various serious sections of the Indian Penal Code against Kumar, to an independent agency.
Further, a direction was sought for an independent inquiry into the illegal detention and torture of Shiv Kumar and it was also prayed that Shiv Kumar be medically examined. Notice of motion was issued on 19 February 2021 and the Court had also ordered for the medical examination of Shiv Kumar.
“Considering the facts and circumstances in entirety, let the District and Sessions Judge presently posted at Faridabad hold an inquiry with regard to the allegations of illegal detention and custodial torture of Shiv Kumar,” said Justice Avneesh.
The bench further directed the special investigation team constituted by the Haryana Police in Shiv Kumar’s case to continue with the investigation, but shall not submit its final report without seeking permission from this court.
“At this stage, there is nothing before this Court to doubt the investigation being carried out by the SIT. However, as there could be an occasion that the conclusion arrived at by the SIT and inquiry report with regard to two sets of medical reports may cast a shadow on each other. SIT may continue with the investigation but shall not submit its final report without seeking permission from this Court,” the order stated.
The case was adjourned for May 11 for submission of the status report.
Kumar, president of Majdoor Adhikar Sanghathan, was held a few days after the arrest of labor rights activist Naudeep Kaur.
Kumar was arrested on charges under Sections 148 (rioting, armed with a deadly weapon), 149, (unlawful assembly) 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to public servant), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 384 (punishment for extortion), 379B (snatching with hurt, wrongful restraint or fear of hurt) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code.
On the other hand, Kaur was arrested for allegedly gheraoing an industrial unit and demanding money from the company in Haryana’s Sonipat on January 12.
Both Shiv Kumar and Nodeep Kaur were granted bail in the cases filed against them earlier this year. While Kumar was granted bail by a Sessions Court earlier this month, Kaur was released on bail following a High Court order passed on February 25.
In February, a medical examination of labor activist Shiv Kumar conducted by Chandigarh-based Government Medical College and Hospital has found some injuries, including two fractures, on his hand and foot and also broken nail beds of some of his toes.
On February 19, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed Superintendent, Sonepat Jail to get the medical examination of Kumar conducted by GMCH after Kumar’s father alleged that his son was brutally tortured by Sonepat police.
According to Kumar, who provided information about his case to the five-member medical board of GMCH formed for his medical examination, he was picked up on January 16 from a protest site at Kundli and was taken to old Kacheri, Sonipat where the CI (police) staff assaulted him.