TARUBALA DEBBARMA Vs. STATE OF TRIPURA
HIGH COURT TRIPURA
STATE OF TRIPURA
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Akil Kureshi, J. -
(1.) Petitioners are dependants and legal heirs of one Gajendra Debbarma who died while in jail custody on 13.03.2005. The record would show that late Gajendra Debbarma was convicted for offence punishable under Section 364A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC, for short) and sentenced to life imprisonment. The conviction and sentence took place on 02.12.2004. Thus, a few months after his conviction when he was in jail, he died. A case of unnatural death was registered. Inquiry was carried out. The conclusion of the inquiry was that the prisoner had died a natural death and that there was no foul play involved. Final report to this effect was submitted on 30th June, 2006 which was later on accepted by the Court also.
(2.) The petitioners have claimed compensation of Rs.30,00,000/- from the State authorities primarily alleging negligence of the jail authorities which led to the unfortunate death of the prisoner, basing the estimate of compensation on the earning capacity of the deceased.
(3.) Learned counsel for the petitioner vehemently contended that there was total negligence on part of the jail authorities in providing basic medical care to the prisoner which led to his untimely death. Reliance was placed on a decision of the Supreme Court in case of Re-Inhuman Conditions in 1382 Prisons; reported in (2017) 10 SCC 658. It was the case in which the Court had discussed at considerable length the issues concerning unnatural deaths in State custody. It was held that even prisoners have their fundamental rights protected and in case of unnatural deaths in custody on account of negligence for overt acts on part of the State authorities, the next of the kin of the deceased should be compensated.;
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