Allahabad HC has directed UP govt to file a reply in response to a PIL seeking the establishment of fast-track police courts in the state in wake of the alleged custodial death of 22-year-old Altaf
The Allahabad High Court has directed the Uttar Pradesh government to file a reply in response to a PIL seeking the establishment of fast-track police courts in the state in wake of the alleged custodial death of 22-year-old Altaf at the Kasganj police station.
The PIL suggested that the fast-track courts should adjudicate upon FIRs, complaints and petitions filed against police officers in cases of custodial torture, death, rape and other such offences.
It also called for the enforcement of various guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in such matters. Hearing a PIL filed by People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), a division bench comprising Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Piyush Agrawal passed the above order.
According to the petitioner, one Altaf was called for questioning by the Uttar Pradesh Police and later found dead at the Kotwali in Kasganj district on November 9.
In the petition, the PUCL said that the death of Altaf and other such persons in suspicious circumstances in police custody is viewed by any person of ordinary prudence as an institutional killing.
The PIL requested the court to direct the central as well as the state governments to install CCTV cameras in all police stations and other such police offices of the CBI, NIA, etc., across the state of Uttar Pradesh as has already been directed by the apex court.
It also sought a direction to duly equip the police officers with body-worn cameras and requisite technology for videography during investigations.
With regard to Altaf’s case, PUCL requested the court to direct the setting up of a high-powered committee, headed by a sitting or retired judge of the Allahabad High Court, to inquire into this case.
Besides, it requested that the said committee be comprised of all relevant stakeholders and a panel of experts, to work out and provide for the appropriate, recommendations, mechanisms, modalities and guidelines to fill the gaping legal lacunae, as regards prosecution and punishment of police officers accused guilty of custodial torture/deaths/rapes.
The PIL further requested the court to direct the Director General of Police (DGP), UP, district magistrate, Kasganj and superintendent of police (SP), Kasganj to ensure full police protection to the bereaved family of Altaf.