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Madras High Court orders TN govt to pay Rs 6 lakh compensation to HIV patient

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Madras High CourtMadurai: In a relief to an HIV patient, whose health deteriorated while serving prison term, Madras High Court ordered government to pay him Rs 6 lakh compensation.

Justice S Nagamuthu before whom the case came up, pointed out that the court had already awarded the patient Rs 1.5 lakh compensation in an interim order and said it should be given to the victim within a week. The balance of Rs 4.5 lakh could be settled by second week of August.

The judge also directed DGP to appoint a Superintendent of Police to find out who had “maliciously” prosecuted the patient instead of the original accused R Sathya in the case.

As Sathya, the fourth accused in the criminal cases (under charges including Section 420 and other non bailable provisions of IPC) was absconding, the Sub-Inspector and Inspector prosecuted the patient, who was already in prison, by filing Prisoner Transfer warrant.

The victim later moved the HC after government promoted the official who wrongly implicated him. Passing interim orders on his petition on March 23, the judge had expressed anguish over how the state had dealt with the two police officers accused of a serious offence of malicious prosecution.

The Judge today even if the victim had earned Rs 100 a day, he would have earned a few lakhs of Rupees. He had been in jail for more than six years for no fault of his and needed to be compensated suitably as he had two children and wife to take care of.

He also looked very unhealthy. Hence the interim compensation should be paid within a week, the Judge said. When government said the court was not empowered to order for compensation, the Judge said, “The court has powers to do so in these types of cases as per various apex court judgements.”

Police in Dindigul had registered cases against four men. It managed to arrest three, while the fourth was absconding.

The Judicial Magistrate court had issued a non bailable warrant against the man and asked police to arrest him. It was then that police arrested the victim instead of Satya.

The victim who appeared in court, said he had been convicted though he had no link with the case. The Sessions Judge who heard his appeal had found him innocent. He had also ordered that Rs three lakh be paid to him and the amount could be deducted each month from salaries of the SI and Inspector.

The trial judge had also ordered departmental action against them.

Both officials had obtained an interim stay of the Sessions Court order. The SI was promoted and the Inspector allowed to retire on attaining the age of superannuation.

The SI who was present in court today said he refused to prosecute his namesake prisoner and alleged that higher ups had pressurised him to implicate Murugan. The Judge also asked the SP who was present in court to explain the steps taken to arrest Sathya and advised police that this should be the last case of malicious prosecution.

The judge ordered payment within a week after the victim’s counsel pointed out that the time limit fixed by HC for paying interim compensation had expired on April 23.


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