In a notice issued by the state governments of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the Hyderabad HC enquired whether they awarded any compensation to the families in cases of unnatural deaths and suicides that have taken place in prisons across both states.
A division bench comprising acting chief justice Ramesh Ranganathan and justice M. Ganga Rao were dealing with a suo motu PIL with regard to unnatural deaths and suicide in prisons. Earlier in September, the Supreme Court had ordered all high courts to take suo motu cognisance of such deaths and award compensation to the families of the victims.
The SC bench, comprising Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta asked the chief justice of each high court to register a suo motu public interest petition with a view to identify the next of kin of the prisoners who have died unnatural deaths as provided by the National Crime Records Bureau during the period between 2012 and 2015.
The Supreme Court noted that as many as 651 custodial deaths were reported between 2012 and 2015 across the country and out of 651 deaths 328 are suicides. The High Court has granted two weeks to both the state governments and their authorities concerned to file their affidavits.