Eleven months after an 18-year-old vegetable seller was allegedly beaten to death by Uttar Pradesh police officers, the Supreme Court has said that the investigation of the case was unfair. The court, in an order dated April 21, has called for another inquiry into the matter.

“After going through the records placed before us, we are prima facie of the view that the manner in which the investigation has been conducted by the investigating officer cannot be said to be fair and impartial,” the Supreme Court said. “The complaint of the petitioner, in our considered view, deserves indulgence of this court.”

The court made the observation on a plea filed by vegetable seller Faisal Hussain’s mother against officials of the Bangar Mau police station in Unnao district.

On May 20, Hussain had died after he was allegedly beaten by police officers while he was selling vegetables in the market, according to The Indian Express. He was then taken to the police station on charges of violating the guidelines imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus, and was allegedly thrashed again.

Hussain’s family allege that he had died in custody, while the police initially claimed the 18-year-old had died due to a heart attack, according to The Print. However, after protests from the family, a first information report was registered against three police officials on May 21.

On August 6, the police initially charged constable Vijay Chaudhary and home guard Satya Prakash under Section 304 (culpable homicide) of the Indian Penal Code. However, on December 2, the officers were charged under Section 302 (punishment for murder) after the intervention of the local Sessions court.

In its order, the Supreme Court also transferred the case to Lucknow Inspector General of Police Bhagwan Swarup and directed him to produce a report within eight weeks.

“The respondent state is directed to hand over all the papers including charge sheet and other material in reference...to the officer positively within 7 days from today,” the court said in the order.

The Supreme Court will now hear the case on July 19.