On Friday (June 5), the Supreme Court dismissed a special leave petition (SLP) by the Bihar government, wherein it challenged the order of the Patna High Court in the Munger firing incident. The case pertains to the death of an 18-year-old Anurag Poddar caused due to police brutality during Durga idol immersion in October last year.
As per reports, the SLP was heard by a 2-Judge Bench of the apex court comprising of Justices Indira Banerjee and MR Shah. The Supreme Court dismissed the case outright and emphasised that there were no grounds to interfere with the judgment earlier proclaimed by the Patna High Court. The Patna High Court had noted in April this year that the State was duty bound to protect its citizen and bound to pay a compensation of ₹10 lacs to the victim’s family.
The Court upheld that determining the culprit was irrelevant for granting compensation in case of a violation of the right to life. The order stated, “Whether son of the petitioner died as a result of firing by police or by any miscreants from the mob would not be relevant for the simple reason that in any case, the state had failed to protect the life of the son of the petitioner who was a spectator in the procession of Maa Durga Idol Immersion.” The Bihar government had moved the apex court to challenge the Patna High Court order, which had asked it to pay compensation.
Munger firing incident
On October 26, 2020, when the campaign for Bihar assembly elections was going on, the famous Shadipur Badi Durga procession for Visarjan was attacked and allegedly fired upon by police officials. Though the police had denied firing and had claimed that the shots were fired by some members of the crowd, those claims were later dismissed by CISF.
The police had beaten up the devotees who were taking the idol for immersion. Video footage of police brutally lathi-charging devotees who were trying to shield the huge idol and pandal had created a furor on social media. In the violence that ensued, shots were also fired and the 18-year-old Anurag had lost his life. Several other persons were injured in the police brutality.