Delhi Top Cop Gets Rights Body Notice Over Alleged Suicide Of Rape-Accused In Custody

The man was in lawful custody of the police and his "right to life has been violated and the state cannot escape its liability," the human rights body said.

Delhi Top Cop Gets Rights Body Notice Over Alleged Suicide Of Rape-Accused In Custody

Family members of the accused saw cops beating him in the police station (Representational)

New Delhi:

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sent a notice to the Delhi Police Commissioner in connection with the alleged suicide of a 40-year-old rape accused while in custody, according to an official statement.

The man was in lawful custody of the police and his "right to life has been violated and the state cannot escape its liability," the NHRC said, adding that "this is a case of violation of human rights".

"The commission took suo motu cognisance of alleged suicide of 40-year-old rape accused in police custody and directs the issuance of notice to the Commissioner of Police, Delhi calling for a detailed report in the matter within two weeks," the Commission said in the statement.

The NHRC has noticed that this case of "custodial death has not been reported" by authorities within 24 hours of its occurrence, and the authorities are expected to explain the reasons, it said.

All the reports, including the inquest and the autopsy reports accompanying video CDs and medical report, of the accused before being lodged in the lockup should be forwarded to the Commission, the statement said.

The rights panel had also sought details of the persons, who were put in the lockup in Swarup Nagar police station and Samaypur Badli police station for any reason, during the period the man was lodged.

"It is expected that the magisterial enquiry in the matter will be completed without any further delay," the statement added.

According to media reports, the man was out on parole after being convicted in a case of robbery and murder.

The 40-year-old man had allegedly raped a 14-year-old girl in an outer Delhi locality on September 19 and died allegedly by suicide hours after being arrested, the NHRC statement said, quoting media reports.

It is also mentioned in news reports that the family members of the accused saw policemen beating him in the police station.

The man was arrested on the allegations of rape under POCSO Act, and was kept in police custody. His nephew has reportedly stated that when he reached the Swarup Nagar police station, he saw a group of policemen beating his uncle, the statement said.

The next day, the family was informed about the incident of a man hanging himself at Samaypur Badli police station.

The deputy commissioner of police reportedly stated that the CCTV camera footage has been preserved and the guard on duty has been placed on suspension, it added.

"The police personnel have apparently failed to do their lawful duty at two stages, first when a person with a history of committing crime was out on parole, it was expected from the local police station to keep an eye on his activities through beat constables and other sources. Secondly, when such a person was kept in the police lock-up, it was normal to be more vigilant to keep check on him during his stay inside it," the statement said.

Apart from this, considering the trauma suffered by the 14-year-old rape survivor, the chief secretary of Delhi is directed to inform about her health condition as well as the relief, rehabilitation and counselling provided to her by the administration, it said.