SIC directs police to give information to son about ‘custodial death’ of his father

The PIO, however, informed him that the death certificate and post-mortem report were not affixed with the CD file.

SHAFAQ SHAH
Srinagar, Publish Date: Oct 12 2018 1:40AM | Updated Date: Oct 12 2018 1:40AM
SIC directs police to give information to son about ‘custodial death’ of his fatherRepresentational Pic

The State Information Commission has directed the police to provide within two weeks all information to an appellant regarding demise of his father, after he was denied death certificate and post-mortem reports of the deceased allegedly killed in police custody. 

Noting the Public Information Officer (PIO) of police has failed to act on the appellant’s demands, the SIC directed the information should include action taken on his request, copy of death certificate of his father Abdul Ahad Sheikh, post-mortem report and the present status of the case FIR.

“The FIR lodged of the custodial death case clearly reveals that the post mortem of the deceased was conducted. The Commission accordingly observed in its interim order dated 05-09-2018 that the reply of the PIO stating that death certificate and post mortem report of the deceased was not affixed with CD file was only a ruse to deny information to the appellant,” the SIC order reads.

Manzoor Ahmad Shah, a resident of Raipora Palhallan, filed an application under RTI Act with the PIO of police headquarters in Baramulla seeking information about the death of his father Abdul Ahad Sheikh who was allegedly killed in police custody during the 1990s. 

Besides the death certificate of his father, Shah had also asked for an attested copy of post-mortem report of his father, FIR copy and present status of the case.

The PIO, however, informed him that the death certificate and post-mortem report were not affixed with the CD file.

But Shah submitted that in FIR no. 23/1990, which was lodged in the matter of custodial killing of his father, it has been clearly mentioned that post-mortem was conducted which revealed that the deceased had died due to multiple injuries.

Shah also stated death certificates are issued by the police station in all cases of deaths, contending therefore that the reply of the PIO that death certificate and post-mortem report are not available was incorrect.

State Information Commissioner, Mohammad Ashraf Mir observed that the failure of the PIO to disclose the post-mortem report or to provide copy of death certificate only substantiates Shah’s allegation that facts were being withheld. 

“Continued absence of the PIO during the proceedings in the present appeal also gives an impression that PIO is not comfortable with openness and transparency, at least, in the present case, the order of the Commissioner reads.

A prima facie case, the order states, “has been established for proceeding against the PIO/Dy. S.P. Police Hqrs Baramulla in terms of section 17 of the Act for not only refusing the information to the appellant but also for defying the orders of the state Information Commission.”

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