Orissa HC Awards ₹5L Interim Compensation in Custodial Killing Case, Orders Recovery from Cops’ Salary

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court has directed the State Government to pay Rs 5 lakh as interim compensation to the legal heirs of a victim of custodial killing. The order has also mandated the recovery of this compensatory sum from the salary of the accused policemen.

Justice Dr S K Panigrahi emphasized that compensation does not replace accountability. The court stressed the importance of conducting thorough investigations, prosecuting the responsible parties, and implementing systemic changes to prevent such tragedies in the future.

The case dates back to July 17, 2015, when the victim, Makhunu Bag was summoned to Bheden Police Station in connection with a crime allegedly committed by his son. However, Bag never returned, and his skeletal remains were discovered on September 24, 2015, in Subarnapur district. A subsequent DNA test confirmed his identity.

Charges under Sections 302/201 IPC were filed against the Bheden police based on a complaint alleging torture leading to the victim’s death in police custody. The chargesheet also highlighted efforts to conceal evidence by relocating the body.

Justice Panigrahi condemned the incident, emphasizing the breach of trust by those sworn to protect citizens and uphold the law.

The court awarded an interim compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the victim’s legal heirs, to be paid by the State Government and recovered from the salaries of the accused policemen. The State is directed to deposit this amount in the trial court within six weeks.

Furthermore, the State of Odisha is urged to expedite both the investigation and trial proceedings, as well as the disciplinary actions against those responsible for Makhunu Bag’s death.

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