The Bombay High Court has directed the Union Territory of Daman and Diu to pay a compensation of Rs four lakh to a journalist who was handcuffed by the police and paraded on the streets after he was arrested on the charge of extortion in 2009.
“The Administration of the Union Territory has violated the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution by illegally handcuffing and parading him on July 2, 2009,” said the High Court in its ruling on December 22.
A division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and A A Sayed directed the Union Territory to pay the compensation to Satish Sharma within two months.
Sharma had moved the HC questioning police’s action of handcuffing and parading him. It was illegal and violated the right to personal liberty guaranteed by the Constitution, he said.
Maintaining that he was an honest journalist and the whole episode had tarnished his reputation, Sharma demanded a compensation of Rs five crore.
The HC said that while it was ordering the administration to pay Sharma Rs four lakh, he was free to file another suit to demand additional compensation.
The Administrator of the Union Territory can take steps for recovery of the compensation amount from the erring officers through a due process of law, the judges said.
The court also ordered the Union Territory to pay an additional Rs 25,000 to Sharma towards litigation cost.
Further, the Administrator of the UT shall initiate inquiry for fixing the responsibility for the illegal action of police, the court said.