The Allahabad High Court on Thursday ordered a second autopsy of the 22-year-old Muslim man, who died allegedly in police custody in Uttar Pradesh’s Kasganj district last year, reported Live Law. The autopsy will be carried out at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi.
The Muslim man, Altaf, was found dead in November inside the Kasganj police station after he was taken for questioning in a case related to the kidnapping of a Hindu woman. When the woman was found, the police had dropped kidnapping charges against Altaf. They had also said she was not a minor as claimed by the woman’s father in his complaint.
The police had claimed that Altaf had hanged himself from a tap in the washroom – situated just two to three feet above the ground – using the drawstring of his jacket hood. Altaf’s family had alleged that he was murdered in police custody.
During the hearing of the case on February 2, advocate Mohammed Kumail Haider, appearing for Altaf’s father Chand Miyan, had described the first autopsy report as “dubious” and “manufactured”, reported The Times of India. He had added that photographs of the ligature mark on Altaf’s neck to prove his death by hanging were not enclosed in the affidavit.
In its order on Thursday, a bench of Justices Anjani Kumar Mishra and Justice Deepak Verma said that the autopsy should be completed within 10 days and the whole process, starting from the exhuming, be recorded in photographs and videos.
“This order has been passed because it is the case of the petitioner based upon photographs brought on record, wherein the deceased [person], Altaf, is thrown to have hung himself from a water pipe, which was installed only three feet above the ground of the toilet,” the order noted.
The bench also said that the photographs and videos should be submitted to the bench and the committees conducting judicial and ministerial inquiries.
Meanwhile, the High Court did not order a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry, as demanded by the petitioner. It noted that the judicial and ministerial inquiries were pending in the matter.
The court said that it has been informed that seven of the 36 witnesses have been examined as part of the judicial inquiry. With regards to the ministerial inquiry, the court said it has not received any report.
The bench then ordered both the committees to expedite their inquiries.
The High Court will hear the matter after four weeks.
Earlier on February 2, the High Court had issued a warning to Uttar Pradesh Police to file an affidavit in connection with Miyan’s plea. The bench had said that it would impose “heavy cost” if the affidavit was not filed by the next day.