Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Apr 18:
The Odisha High Court has directed the state government to pay Rs 20 lakh as compensation for its failure to carry out its order to release a mentally unstable murder accused from jail for seven long years.
A division bench of Justice Binod Prasad and Justice Sangam Kumar Sahu on Friday issued the directive while hearing a petition filed by the counsel for the accused.
It may be mentioned that Dhuleswar Barik alias Budia, a mentally challenged youth of Alapata village under Kingirkilla police station limits in Sundargarh district, had killed six persons in 2008. He was later arrested and forward to a lower court, which awarded him capital punishment.
Challenging the verdict of the lower court, the counsel for the accused had later moved the High Court which rejected the hanging order of the lower court and asked the jail authorities to conduct the neurotic treatment of the accused in a government hospital.
However, the jail authorities, in gross violation of the court order, had conducted his treatment inside the jail.
Alleging that the jail authorities had not acted upon the order of the court and had kept Dhulia under judicial custody for the past seven years, his counsel filed a writ in the High Court urging compensation to the accused since he had spent an extra seven-year jail term due to the callousness of the jail authorities in gross violation of human rights.
In an order on September 3, 2014, the court had directed the jail authorities to immediately release the accused.
The court, while acting on the petition filed by the counsel for the accused on Friday, asked the state government to pay a compensation of Rs 20 lakh to the family of the accused and asked it to hand over the amount to the Registrar, Odisha High Court within four weeks.
As per the order of the court, the accused and his father would appear before the Registrar (Judicial) and give the proof of their identity after which the compensation amount provided by the state government would be deposited in the name of the accused in a nationalised bank.
Of the total amount, the state government would keep a fixed deposit of 75 percent (Rs 15 lakh) for five years of which the accused can withdraw the monthly interest amount. The accused can withdraw the total amount from his account after the term of the fixed deposit is completed, the court ruled.