9 policemen sentenced to 3 years' RI for custodial death

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Nagpur, Dec 14 (UNI) The High Court here has convicted nine policemen for the custodial death in 1993 of a person arrested on mistaken identity, and sentenced them to three years of rigorous imprisonment (RI) each, while acquitting the tenth accused policemen for lack of evidence.

Hearing an appeal from the state against the lower court's ruling, a Division Bench consisting of Justice Kishore Rohee and Justice R C Chavan at the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court yesterday reduced the original sentence of three years and nine months of RI each handed down to the accused.

The nine policemen convicted for the death of Joinus Adam Elamatti, an employee of Central Railway here, in the lock-up of the Crime Branch of Nagpur Police in June 1993, were identified as police inspector Yashwant Kanade, police sub inspectors Zahiruddin Deshmukh and Ram Kadu, and constables Bhaskar Narule, Nilkanth Chorpagar, Namdeo Ganeshkar, Ramesh Bhoyar, Ashok Shukla and Sudhakar Thakre. The bench, however, acquitted driver Raghunath Bhakte.

The High Court's ruling came in response to an appeal filed by the state against the ruling of the District and Sessions Court here in September 1995, sentencing all the 10 accused to 3 years and 9 months of RI under sections 330 (voluntarily causing hurt to extort confession), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 355 (assault or criminal force with intent to dishonour person, otherwise than on grave provocation) and 342 (wrongful confinement) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), but acquitting them of the charge of murder. The state's contention was that the punishment was too mild.


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