The Madhya Pradesh High Court has ordered the state government to pay a compensation of Rs five lakh to a 68-year-old tribal jailed for four months after being mistaken for a murder convict, who died while out on parole.
A bench of Justices S C Sharma and Shailendra Shukla issued the order on Monday while admitting the habeas corpus petition filed by the son of the tribal, Husan (68), of Dhar district.
A person named 'Husna' was awarded life imprisonment in a murder case in Dhar district. He died on September 10, 2016 after being released from prison on parole.
As the convict did not return to prison after the end of the parole period, an arrest warrant was issued against him.
The police then arrested 'Husan' in place of 'Husna', due to confusion over similar names, and sent him to Indore's Central Jail on October 18, 2019.
Husan, who belongs to the tribal community and is illiterate, pleaded repeatedly that he was innocent, but the police arrested him.
Expressing strong displeasure over the negligence, the high court ordered that Husan, who is innocent, be released from the jail immediately.
The bench also ordered that a case of contempt of court be registered against the sub-divisional officer of police (SDOP), who gave incorrect information in the affidavit submitted to the court in the case.
The bench said a contempt of court case should also be filed against all the police personnel who made separate entries about Husan, describing him as "Husna" (the deceased convict), in records of police station concerned at the time of his wrongful arrest.
The present case is an example of arresting innocent people without identifying them properly, the court said.
"Therefore, it is directed that in all cases where an arrest is made, the authorities shall identify the persons so arrested on the basis of bio-metric as well as other documents in order to ensure their identity, in order to ensure that no innocent person like the petitioner's father, Husan, go to jail again," the court said.
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