The Allahabad High Court on Friday ordered that the body of a 22-year-old man, who died in police custody in Kasganj district in Uttar Pradesh, be exhumed and send for a second post-mortem at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi.
Altaf, a labourer, was called for questioning at the Kotwali Police Station after he was accused of kidnapping a woman. Police had claimed that Altaf hanged himself from a water pipe inside the toilet of the police station — around three feet from the ground — on November 9, 2021. The direction was passed by a two-judge bench comprising Justices Anjani Kumar Mishra and Deepak Verma hearing a petition filed by Altaf's father, Chand Miyan.
The court observed that the petitioner was not satisfied with the post-mortem conducted earlier and has insisted that a fresh autopsy be conducted outside Uttar Pradesh because of the alleged involvement of the state police. The body shall be exhumed in the presence of senior superintendent of police/superintendent of police, Kasganj, the court said.
It shall be sealed and transported to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, where a post-mortem examination shall be conducted in the presence of a team of doctors constituted by the AIIMS director, it said. The entire process of unsealing and post-mortem shall be videographed. High resolution photographs of the body at various stages of the examination shall also be taken and preserved. The post-mortem report, video footage and photographs shall be prepared in three copies," the court said.
This entire exercise should be completed within a period of 10 days from today, it added. "This order has been passed because it is the case of the petitioner based upon photographs brought on record, wherein the deceased, Altaf is thrown to have hung himself from a water pipe, which was installed only three feet above the ground of the toilet, the court said and listed the matter after four weeks.