Part III of the Indian Constitution containing article 22 which dictates no person who is arrested shall be detained in custody without being informed, as soon as may be, of the grounds for such arrest nor shall he be denied the right to consult, and to be defended by, a legal practitioner of his choice, among other fundamental rights that protects a citizen from arbitrary searches and wrongful imprisonment, protection from oppression and unfair treatment is seen shredded to pieces more often than not.
The gap between reality and what is enshrined in the Constitution is getting wider. In Ahmedabad, a helpless 70 year old couple was dragged out of their home by local police in Chandkheda area of Ahmedabad, beaten up and put up in police custody.
In a scenario similar to one in the critically acclaimed Jai Bhim film, Chandkheda police station confined a septuagenarian couple : Revaben and her husband. According to her, local Ahmedabad police barged into their small house, beat her and her husband and wrongfully put them in police custody.
She claimed in her writ petition to Gujarat High Court that “Though there was no FIR against us, the police came to our house and beat us, pushed us and took us to the police station illegally.” She said the police acted towards them as if they were habitual offenders. Making serious claims that they were forced to sign on a written paper, she said they were tortured for not signing the agreement. The case was registered with the PI of Chandkheda police station. Serious allegations were made against K V Patel and Vijay Rathod, a police officer of the Intelligence Bureau.
The petitioner claimed that an application was lodged at the Chandkheda police station with the intention of falsely implicating their son Raju over the issue of ownership of the house. It was alleged that Raju did not repay an informal loan he had taken from police officer Vijay Rathod .
The petitioner had filed a writ petition in the High Court. demanding punitive action against the policemen. In the writ petition, it is demanded that legal action against the Police Inspector of the station and other responsible officials of the Intelligence Bureau be taken and compensation to the elderly couple be paid.
Chief Justice NV Raman has been vocal about police brutality and custodial death. However, time and again, questions arise about the behaviour of police prompting vigilant citizens to file petitions in the Courts to prevent such incidents from happening
The Gujarat High Court directed Ahmedabad police to look into the matter of illegal police confinement of the old couple. Following an inquiry, Ahmedabad police has now suspended six cops from Gujarat police. A departmental inquiry has also been initiated against all these police inspectors. The matter is set to be heard in the High Court on December 16. According to a senior police officer these D staff local police cops are known for connivance with local rowdies to extort money from people over property issues.