Panaji: SC sentences cops to 10 yrs RI in Abdul Gafar custodial death case

Panaji, Nov 30 (TOI): In the 23-year-old sensational custodial death case of alleged criminal Abdul Gaffer Khan, the Supreme Court recently sentenced retired police inspector S V Caeiro and police constable Sanvlo Naik to ten years rigorous imprisonment on charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The case becomes the first in the state to see law enforcers being put behind the bars.

The apex court order comes on an appeal filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation against the acquittal of the duo by the high court in 2003. Initially, seven policemen were charged for the murder. In 2002, five were acquitted by the trial court while Caeiro and Naik were convicted.

The police had apprehended the deceased from Khareband, Margao, on May 17, 1994, at 12.20am. At 2.40am of the same night, Khan was brought in dead at a government hospital.

Considering the evidence of 14 injuries found on the body of the deceased, a division bench comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Navin Sinha said: "As per the opinion of the medical board the injuries were fatal in nature and could not be self-inflicted and could be caused by baton/danda or a patta."

The court held that the prosecution proved that at the time of the arrest that the deceased was hale and hearty and in fit condition. Rejecting the defence of alibi pleaded by the accused, the supreme court held that the general diary, showing that the accused Caiero had left the police station at about 1.25am, was overwritten and manipulated.

The court also said that the evidence indicated that the police officer prepared a false memo sending Khan to the hospital when he was already dead.

The prosecution also proved that both accused had taken the deceased to the female lock-up when only four person were there in the male lock-up. Though there was no eye- witness in the case, the court held the accused guilty as they failed to explain how Khan died in their custody.


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Title : Panaji: SC sentences cops to 10 yrs RI in Abdul Gafar custodial death case


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