“Legal System Completely Failed Him”: Orissa High Court Orders ₹10 Lakh Compensation To Wife Of Tribal Man Killed In Police Custody

Facts of the Case:

The high court of Orissa passed a judgment on 17 March 2023, stating that the victim labelled as a maoist was denied his basic rights while in custody & was tortured to death, and there was not even an iota of evidence of he being a maoist, in the case of Maria Kadaisma @ Kadaiska @ Salmina v. State of Odisha & Ors (W.P.(C) No. 13508 of 2010), passed by the division bench of Chief Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar and Justice Murahari Sri Raman.

On June 1, 2010, a tribe member by the name of Pidera Kadaiska set out in quest of firewood while carrying a “desi rifle” created in his nation, which he usually uses to kill birds and other small animals in the deep forests. He was in the forest when CRPF agents were traveling from Gudari to Chandrapur to conduct naxal sweeps. They managed to capture him and take him to the police station (Camp). According to reports, there, CRPF members assaulted him viciously with kicks, lathis, and gun butts. His imprisonment was not even reported to his family or other relatives by the CRPF, and it was not noted anywhere else (book, log, memo, etc.). The victim’s dead body was sent to the Sarpanch of Chandrapur on June 3, 2010, when he was contacted by the police.

The wife of the victim filed this writ petition before the High Court seeking compensation for the custodial death of her husband.

Court Observations:

The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) fact-finding team’s report was cited by the court. It stated that Pidera was apprehended by CRPF Jawans on June 1 and brought to Rayagada on June 2 on suspicion of being a “Maoist,” according to the report. He was transported to the hospital after complaining of a stomach ache, where he was pronounced dead. The opposing parties refuted allegations that Pidera was brutally tortured and murdered while in detention in a rebuttal affidavit. It was claimed that he had a close relationship with the CPI (Maoist), participated in criminal activity alongside “senior maoist cadres,” and planned to blow up important infrastructure with their help. 

It lamented the fact that the relevant authorities had not complied with the thorough instructions made by the Apex Court against custodial violence in D.K. Basu v. State of West Bengal.


The Court came to the conclusion that the OPs had not provided a compelling justification for their claim that the victim, who was in their care, died of “natural causes.” The post-mortem report’s injuries remained unexplained. It was decided that the OPs were unable to satisfy the requirement of demonstrating that he did not pass away as a result of abuse suffered while in their custody.The court ordered the CRPF and the Odisha State Police to pay the petitioner compensation in the amount of Rs. 5,00,000/- (Rupees five lakh) each (i.e., a total of Rs. 10 lakhs) within eight weeks, failing which to pay the amount along with 6% simple interest for the period of delay. The court’s order was made in accordance with the guidelines established by the Supreme Court in Nilabati Behera v. State of Orissa.

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