15-year-old dies by suicide after being jailed 'as an adult'
The NHRC has sought a report from Etah district police in Uttar Pradesh into a recent incident of a minor boy's death by suicide after he was "sent to a jail as an adult" on charges of drug possession, officials said on Thursday. In addition to this, the commission has also directed its investigation division to conduct an on-the-spot inquiry into the case.
SSP to submit action report to NHRC within four weeks
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in a statement said that it has directed the Etah senior superintendent of police (SSP) to have the allegations probed by a senior-rank police officer and submit an action taken report to the commission within four weeks.
The boy was released on bail on September 21, 2021
The rights panel said it has "taken cognizance of a complaint, accompanied by a news clipping, that a 15-year-old minor boy, unable to bear the torture of being sent to jail as an adult, on charges of drug possession, died by suicide." "The boy died by suicide when released on bail after three months in Etah, Uttar Pradesh, on September 21, 2021," it said.
My son was illegally arrested and tortured: Boy's father
It said that allegedly, the boy was arrested by the Etah Police in connection with "drug possession" and was sent to the district jail, instead of being produced before a Juvenile Justice Board. The boy's father has reportedly alleged that his son was "illegally arrested and tortured to extort money by the police," it said.
SSP to probe the protocols followed for assessing boy's age
The NHRC has directed SSP to have the allegations inquired into, keeping in mind some points, including what protocol is being followed for assessing the age and date of birth of the accused by police. According to Rule 7 and Section 94 (C) of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act (JJ Act), date of birth is the primary age proof, it said.
Non-consideration of matriculation certificate is in violation of judgment: Panel
Non-consideration of the matriculation certificate as proof of the date of birth is in violation of the judgment in the matter of "Ashwani Kumar Saxena vs. State of MP (2012) 9 SCC 750." Therefore, under what circumstances this was ignored, it said.
Inquiry report is to be submitted within six weeks: Panel
The investigation division has also been directed to look into the role played by all stakeholders in this case, including the judge, before whom the child was produced within 24 hours of arrest, and the role of the doctor who examined the child, it added. Thus, the inquiry report is to be submitted within six weeks, the rights panel said.