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Kerala HC Requests Report from Director General of Prisons on Custodial Torture of NDPS Accused

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Kerala HC Law Insider

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Published on: 02 September 2023 at 22:42 IST

The Kerala High Court has taken action to request a report from the Director General of Prisons and Correctional Services concerning the alleged custodial torture of five individuals accused in a case involving the seizure of synthetic drugs, which tragically resulted in the death of one of the accused while in custody last month.

On August 1, law enforcement authorities arrested five young individuals based on a tip-off, suspecting them of possessing synthetic drugs.

Subsequently, a case was registered against them under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. Regrettably, Tamir Jifri, a 30-year-old accused, passed away while in custody, allegedly as a result of police brutality.

Justice Mohammed Niyas has directed the DG of Prisons and Correctional Services to submit a report by the upcoming Tuesday in response to a plea filed by one of the accused, Mansoor’s father.

This petition has requested an investigation into the purported torture of the accused by prison officials and state police while in custody. Additionally, it calls for the urgent medical examination of the four remaining accused who are still in custody.

The petition, presented by advocate P V Jeevesh on behalf of Mansoor’s father, asserts that the four accused individuals currently in jail are being subjected to severe mistreatment by the jail authorities. They are allegedly coerced into signing a statement falsely claiming possession of the seized psychotropic substances.

Mansoor’s father also reported that his son exhibited extensive injuries on his body when he visited him in prison.

Initially, law enforcement claimed that the accused were apprehended in possession of 18.14 grams of MDMA, a synthetic drug. In response to the alleged custodial torture, eight police officers from the Tanur police station were suspended pending an inquiry.

While the Crime Branch initiated an investigation into Jifri’s custodial death, the Special Branch DySP conducted a probe into the police officials’ conduct. Subsequently, the Kerala government transferred the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).