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I will try to rebuild my life: victim of poor justice system (Exclusive interview)

Fri, 24 Aug 2007 08:18:00
Pratap Naik ( 32 ) of Ghimuani village of Boudh District of Orissa looks more relaxed and relieved after the historical judgment the Orissa High Court awarding a compensation of Rs 8 lakh for his illegal detention in jail for long 8 years even after his aquital by Orissa High Court.
A Special Correspondent
Pratap with Lawyer Prabir Das and family members
Boudh, August 24 (odisha.in) After coming to know about the judgment of Orissa High Court granting him compensation of Rs 8 lakhs, Pratap told Odisha.in.

 "I will try to rebuild my house, get married and start cultivation after getting back my land which was mortgaged by my parents to get me released from the jail. I shall also get treatment for my illness.

"I felt sad for being illegally detained in jail, this Eight Lakh rupees will be great help for me to build up my future though it would not give me the precious eight years I suffered in jail without any fault of mine."

Pratap Naik  ( 32 ) of Ghimuani village of Boudh District of Orissa looks more relaxed and relieved  after the historical judgment the Orissa High Court awarding a compensation of Rs 8 lakh  for his illegal detention in jail  for long 8 years even after his acquittal by Orissa High Court. 

When Pratap was released from jail in 2003 he was hardly able to speak properly because he was suffering from negative schizophrenia.

He was arrested along with some others on charges of murder over land dispute in his village on February 26, 1989.On October 31, 1994. The Orissa High Court acquitted him and ordered his release from jail.

The order of release to the Sessions Court Phulbani reached. But due to negligence of Sessions Clerk the order could not produced before the session judge and Naik had to languish in jail for eight long years, the matter was discovered in 2003 and then he was set free.

Pratap was good in singing and performing dances with music, he was also good in painting while he was a student of Class VIII before he was arrested. But the dark chambers of the jail have looted all the creativeness in him.

He was only 13 years old when he was arrested. He was supposed to be forwarded to juvenile home and not to the jail, but as ill luck would have it he was sent to jail. Neither the police, nor the court or the jail authorities pointed out that Pratap was a minor and should not stay in jail.

Due to abject poverty and illiteracy none in his family could understand the legal requirement for which Pratap could not fight the case seeking justice for the wrongful detention, the High Court ruling of compensation bring some cheers to his family of five members .

Money can buy everything but not the precious eight years of Pratap which he spent unnecessarily inside the four walls of jail .Its long suffering of his member family because of Government negligence.

 In 2005 Public interest litigation filed in Orissa high court by humanright activist Advocate  Prabir Kumar Das on behalf of Pratap Naik seeking compensation of Rs 10 lakh and enquiry in to the illegal detention .

In a land mark judgment, the Orissa High Court on Monday awarded a compensation of Rs 8 lakh to Pratap Naik which is highest compensation to any individual in Orissa's legal history. This is a great victory pf law over injustice.

 Prabir kumar Das lawyer who fought the case of Pratap with determination to give him justice told Odisha.in "it's a classic instance of justice delayed not denied.

After long thirteen years Justice has been done to Pratap Naik , victim of illegal detention for 8 years ,even after acquittal by no less than Honorable High court and Supreme Court.

This historic judgment has ultimately restored people's faith on the judiciary. Earlier the Law Minister of the State had announced for adequate compensation to Pratap Naik, now the state Government should keep it's commitment and pay the compensation to Pratap without delay.

 While the compensation money comes as a big help to Pratap and his family it can never buy him the time he lost in the jail at the very prime of his youth, nor undo the damage caused to his mind and heart."

Though Pratap suffered due to carelessness of court employees, who took eight long years to deliver the High Court ruling, this judgment is expected to work as an eye opener for the judicial employees all over the country, who would be more careful hence forward.


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