Aftab Alam's brother, an under-trial, succumbed to his burn injuries after informing his family that an unknown person set him on fire in prison


Aftab Alam v. State of Jharkhand and Ors. [W.P.(Cr.) No. 66 of 2014], Hon’ble High Court of Jharkhand Synopsis

Aftab Alam v. State of Jharkhand and Ors. The petitioner’s brother namely Mokhtar Khan (now deceased) was an under-trial prisoner at Birsa Munda Central Jail, Hotwar, Ranchi in connection with Sessions Trial Case No. 64 of 2014. The respondent Superintendent of Jail lodged a first information report with Sadar police by his letter no. 509 dated 23/01/2014, informing therein that on 23/01/2014, the aforesaid under trial prisoner Mokhtar Khan had tried to commit suicide by setting himself on fire, however it was further alleged that the said under trial prisoner jumped into the drain filled with mud and water and after putting off the fire, he came out and raised ‘halla’ and called other prisoners. Thus the said under trial prisoner was unsuccessful in his attempt to commit suicide, which is an offense under the law. It was further added in the first information report that no inflammable substance was found at the place of occurrence.

The criminal writ petition is substantiated by fact that admittedly no inflammable substance was found at the place of occurrence and the said Mokhtar Khan during the course of his treatment at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Ranchi had informed his family members including the petitioner and also to the Bariatu Police, that one unknown person had poured kerosene oil upon him from behind in the jail premises and set him on fire.

That after seeing the deteriorating condition of said under trial prisoner, the RIMS doctor had discharged him and referred to Tata Main Hospital, Jamshedpur for better treatment. On 25/01/2014 itself, the said under trial prisoner Mokhtar Khan was admitted to Tata Main Hospital, Jamshedpur, where he succumbed to the burn injuries on 29/01/2014 at about 10:25 PM.


That by way of the instant writ petition, the petitioner prays for a direction upon the Respondent CBI to take up investigation of Sadar (Ranchi) P.S. Case No. 37/2014 dated 23/1/2014 corresponding to G.R. Case No. 511/2014 (now pending in the Court of Sri Rajeev Ranjan, J.M. Ranchi), which relates to the custodial death of one Mokhtar Khan in Birsa Munda Central Jail, Hotwar, Ranchi, as the state police is not investigating the case properly and is apparently unduly influenced by the persons involved in the occurrence, as would be evident from the facts and circumstances of this case, which are set forth herein below.


Be pleased to pass such other writ(s), order(s), direction(s) which may be deemed fit and proper for the ends of justice.


Three counter affidavits have been filed by the respondent State. The first counter affidavit have been filed by the respondent no.-5, the then Superintendent of Jail, Dilip Kumar Pradhan who is also informant to the first information report, he sent a letter no.654 dated 30.01.2014 to the Judicial Commissioner, Ranchi regarding the information of custodial death of under trial prisoner Mokhtar Khan. The Superintendent, Birsa Munda Jail, Ranchi has prayed for judicial inquiry under the provision of section 176 clause (iii)1A of Cr.P.C.

The second counter affidavit filed by Satya Vir Singh, the then Deputy Superintendent of Police, Sadar, Ranchi wherein he has denied about the statement of deceased recorded by Bariatu Police.

The third counter affidavit filed by the present Superintendent of Jail, wherein he has brought on record the judicial inquiry report before the Hon’ble Court.

Now, the petitioner has to file rejoinder to the counter affidavit filed by the respondents. The case is likely to be listed after filing rejoinder to the counter affidavit, by the petitioner.