13 August 2018
National Human Rights Commission
Manav Adhikar Bhawan
Block-C, GPO Complex, INA
Ref.:- NHRC Case no. 1669/25/13/2016-pf
My complaint dated 02.12.2016
Sub.:- An open letter of protest against the decision of the Commission
I hereunder put my anxious consideration to the decision taken by the Commission in connection with the above referred case. In the decision of the Commission I painfully observed the Commission's ability to put the last nail in the victim's struggle for justice for gross violation of his human rights.
I herein below mentioned the facts and circumstances to show that a mockery of justice has been done by the Commission.
On 22.06.2018 I received a mail from the office of the Commission informing me that the Commission issued direction in the above referred case. Accordingly I searched for the direction from the Commission's website and came to learn that the Commission closed the case on the basis of a communication dated 24.07.2018 received by the Commission from the SP, Murshidabad and in the said communication it was reported that the investigation of the case crime no.930/2017(Name of the police station under which it was registered was not mentioned and the name of the complainant was also not mentioned) is under progress. The Commission decided to close the case being satisfied with the said report that the required action has been initiated by the police. The Commission did not mention as to how the case crime no.930/2017 was connected with the present case. The decision of the Commission taken in the present case is still available in the Commission's website.
On 02.12.2016 I lodged the complaint in connection with the present case for the victim Mr. Montu Mondal who sustained multiple pellet injuries due to firing by BSF on the date of the incident. On 16.10.2016 he submitted a written complaint before the Superintendent of Police, Murshidabad against the perpetrator BSF personnel but no action was taken on the complaint. The Commission took cognizance of my complaint dated 02.12.2016 and called for reports from the authorities. The Commission received reports both from the BSF and the police authorities.
On 10.07.2017 I (through Mr. Biplab Mukherjee, the then Secretary of MASUM) submitted comments before the Commission on the report of BSF and the police inter alia stating that the BSF report is nothing but a mere report of self-defence by the BSF. The BSF report was not an enquiry report because the victim was not heard; he was not given any opportunity to make his submission on the alleged incident of torture upon him, his complaint to the Superintendent of Police, Murshidabad was not considered, his available witnesses were not heard and his medical reports were neither perused nor considered. The BSF report was blank on giving any information on the victim's side of grievances and only provided information which was suitable for the BSF.
In my comments I further stated that police report submitted by the SP, Murshidabad also suffered from material irregularities such as the victim was not heard; he was not given any opportunity to make his submission on the alleged incident of torture upon him, his complaint to the Superintendent of Police, Murshidabad was not considered, his available witnesses were not heard and his medical reports were neither perused nor considered. The enquiring police officer did not bother to do those things to make his report a neutral and acceptable one. The police report failed to put any information why the victim's complaint before the Superintendent of Police, Murshidabad was not registered as FIR. Such conduct of the police was against the guidelines on the mandatory registration of FIR issued by the Supreme Court of India in the case of Lalita Devi vs State of U. P. and other—reported in AIR2014SC187.
I also in my comments tried to point out that both the BSF and police authorities tried to suppress the actual medical history of the victim regarding the injuries suffered by him from pellet firing by BSF. The police report stated that the victim was found physically fit in the available records in both the custody of police as well as BSF. It is to be noted here that the BSF report stated that the Medical Officer of Godhanpara BPHC observed cut injury on right hand of the victim probably due to pellet injury but the victim was declared physically fit. The medical examination report of Godhanpara BPHC was not attached with the BSF report. However on the medical examination of the victim conducted by police, the victim was found physically fit, so inconsistency between the two reports was clear. The medical report of the victim issued by the NRS Medical College & Hospital, Kolkata recorded that the victim was suffering from multiple pellet injuries on right hand. Before that the victim was under medical treatment of Dr. Swapan Roy who also noted down pellet injury on the victim. So it is clear that the authorities tried to suppress the actual state of health of the victim after his arrest. Even the police and BSF continued to do such suppression in their reports by not bringing the medical treatment records of the victim before the Commission.
The Commission did not inform me what action was taken by the Commission on my above mentioned comments submitted on the BSF and police report. Then the Commission abruptly took the decision of closing the case by relying on the subsequent report dated 24.04.2018 from the SP, Murshidabad keeping me in complete darkness. It is very ridiculous to note that mere information that the investigation of a crime case was under progress prompted the Commission to close the case. I have no idea as to how the case crime no.930/2017 is connected with the present case because the Commission did not bother to send me the said police report dated 24.04.2018 of the SP, Murshidabad obtained by the Commission.
Therefore, the Commission overlooked the issues as well as the facts involved which directly indicate gross violation of human rights of the victim and the Commission actually saved the skin of the perpetrator police and BSF personnel by taking a haste and half-hearted decision.
The victim prayed for justice before the Commission because the Commission has powers to hold neutral inquiry, to examine and call for records, to hear the victim and any other witnesses independently and other powers relating to inquiries as envisaged under Section 13 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. But the Commission did not bother to use any of those powers in the present case to establish the truth. Therefore no justifiable required action has been taken by the Commission in this present case.
The function adopted by the Commission in this case without using its powers relating to inquiries is a deliberate act of denial of a just, fair and reasonable proceeding and also against the principles of natural justice.
I hope that the Commission would record my protest against the decision of the Commission taken in the present case and I would request you to recall your decision and dispose of the present case in appropriate manner by considering my concerns submitted above.
National Convenor, PACTI
Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha
National Convenor (PACTI)
Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity
40A, Barabagan Lane (4th Floor)
Tele-Fax - +91-33-26220843
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