Bombay HC Grills Byculla Prison Personnel in Manjula Shetye Case

Police custody of six Byculla prison personnel arrested in the Manjula Shetye case has been extended till 14 July.

2 min read
Hindi Female

What steps did you take after the death of the inmate? Why didn’t you take the inmate to hospital? Why didn’t you register an Accidental Death Report (ADR), Why didn’t you register a First Information Report (FIR)? – these were some of the questions the Bombay High Court asked the Byculla prison authorities on 10 July, in the Manjula Shetye “custodial death” case, CNN-News18 reported.

A metropolitan magistrate's court in Mumbai on 7 July, extended till 14 July, the police custody of six of the prison personnel arrested in connection with Shetye’s death on 23 June.

The accused – Manisha Pokharkar, Wasima Shaikh, Shital Shegokar, Surekha Gulve, Aarti Shingne and Bindu Naikade – were produced in the court as their police remand ended on 7 July.

During the hearing, the police officer who is investigating the case, told the court that so far they have recorded the statements of only four inmates of Byculla prison and need more time to continue the process. The officer told the court:

It’s a lengthy process and we need to take permission from the court before recording their statements. We need to define the role of each of the six accused after examining the CCTV footages. They are giving evasive answers [...] Also the stick used in the assault is yet to be recovered. 

After hearing the arguments, the court extended the custody of all the accused till 14 July.

Manjula Shetye, 45, was serving the last few months of her sentence when she was allegedly sexually assaulted by the prison staff at Mumbai’s Byculla jail on 23 June. She succumbed to her injuries at the government-run JJ Hospital.

The police had said Shetye was allegedly tortured and a stick was inserted in her private parts. A case of murder had been registered against the jail officials. The Mumbai crime branch, which is investigating the case, had arrested the six accused on Saturday.

Indrani Mukerjea, the prime accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, was among the inmates who were booked by police for rioting and other offences after they staged a protest over Shette's death.

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