Custodial Deaths And Misuse Of Powers
Custodial DeathFor India like country the custodial deaths or custodial torture is not new
concept it has long history but basically form British period is highly
increased till today we are trying to curb such social evil form our society.
After independence Indian government made major changes in law but did not made
as effective change as to curb the custodial violence form Indian society.
Section 76 of Cr.P.C, Sections 25 & 26 of the Indian Evidence Act and Section 29
of the Police Act, 1861 The Sections 330, 331 & 348 of IPC are those section
makes the control torture of the policeman, but these laws are less sufficient
to control such torture or violence. The advent of custodial death and torture
has reach its highest level as reported by national campaign against torture
stating that more than 1700 deaths.
Torture has not been defined under
constitution or other laws. The word custody indicates guardianship and
protective care. Even when it is indicates arrest. it should not carry any
sinister symptoms of violence during the custody. No civilized law assumes the
existence of the custodial cruelty.
The custodial death is very worst cruel form of the abuse. mostly it happen
where police officer uses unnecessary force, ultra virus of their powers and
torture convicts beyond the limits to take the life of convicted person. In
Custodial Death is that concept where any arrested person died in police custody
due to the torture done by any police or officer in charge of such custody, the
custody may be police custody or magistrate custody. As per the present
legislation in India the custodial torture is the grave result of death, rape
and physical torture. The National Human Rights Commission has issued fresh
guidelines to all State Governments.
The Commission had issued general
instructions in 1993 that within 24 hours of occurrence of any custodial death,
the Commission must be given intimation about it. These intimations were to be
followed with Post-mortem Reports, Magisterial Inquest Reports/Videography
Reports of the postmortem etc
It is mentioned in exception of section 300 of Indian penal code that if a
public servant exceeds the right of using force and causes death of any person
he is liable for an offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Moreover it is clearly mentioned in section 330 of Indian Penal Code that if any
public servant causes injury to any person to extort confession he will be
liable for punishment with imprisonment upto seven years. The law of the country
does not permit the police personnel to use force illegally.
Supreme Court Guide
lines in landmark case as under Joginder Kumar v. State Of U.P and Others 1994
AIR 1349: 1994 SCC (4) 260 Hon'ble Supreme Court provides regarding Custodial
Torture. The police officer shall inform the arrested person when he is brought
to the police station of this right. An entry shall be required to be made in
the diary as to who was informed of the arrest.
It was further directed that, it
shall be the duty of the Magistrate, before whom the arrested person is
produced, to satisfy himself that these requirements have been complied with. Munshi
Singh Gautam v State of Madhya Pradesh, Appeal (Crl.) 919 of 1999. The Supreme
Court stated that the de humanizing torture, assault and death in custody which
have assumed alarming proportions raise serious questions about the credibility
of the rule of law and administration of the criminal justice system.
famous case D.K. Basu Vs State of West Bengal (1997 (1) SCC 416) Hon'ble Supreme
Court issued a list of 11 guidelines Details of all personnel handling the
interrogations of the arrested person must be recorded in a register. A
memorandum of arrest at the time of the arrest should be prepare. It must also
be signed by the detainee and must contain the time and date of the arrest.
Police must notify a detainee's time, place of detention, and place of custody.
Police of the affected area telegraphically within the period of 8 to 12 hours
after the arrest. An entry must be made in the Case Diary at the place of
The Inspection Memo must be signed by both the detainee and the
arresting police officer and a copy must be provided to the detainee. The
detainee must undergo a medical examination by a trained physician every 48
hours while in custody. Copies of all documents, including the arrest memo, must
be sent to the Magistrate for registration.
Information about the arrest and the
place of custody of the arrested, within 12 hours after the arrest and in the
Police Control Room Board, must be displayed on a visible notice board. As well
as Article 3 to 11(A) of Universal declaration of human rights (UDHR) states
that No one should be subjected to inhuman or cruelty. All are entitled to
equal protection of law.
Everyone has an right to effective remedy by a
competent nationals tribunals. No one is subjected to arbitary arrest. All are
entitled to fair and public hearing by an independent tribunal. Anyone charged
with penal offence has right to be proven guilty according to law in public
trail in national and intenational law at time when it was committed . Every
accused has a right to be protected against ex-post facto laws.
In Indian various legislation various international machinery and our Supreme
court provided many guidelines and stringent legislation but still in India such
evil practices are not curb. Coming to the judicial perspective the right of
life and personal liberty mentioned under article 21 of indian constitution
incorporates all the basic conditions for life with dignity and liberty. such an
approach allows to come down heavily on the system of administration of
criminal justice. particularly speaking on custodial justice and law
The latin maxims Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto i.e the safety of
people is supreme law. Indian police system already known as corrupt police
system due to many reasons but on other side police atrocities, use of
unnecessary power is the common but death, rape and torture by police custody is
biggest blot overall police system.
In India reasons behind the Custodial death
are no proper search while accused put behind bars and he committed suicide by
cutting nerves, by hanging by poisoning or by burning also, police used force or
third degree of torture for interrogation and to get the information from
accused. No appropriated knowledge and preparation about questioning, harassed
by personal bias, political pressure over police against accused, lack of
supervision by senior police officer, no medical aid to accused, traditional
habits of police to betting accused, no respect of law and human rights.
The judges and prosecutors have responsibility to ensure that the standards to
protect people against torture within the framework of their own legal system.
Despite we have many provisions in our laws. custodial violence continues to
exist. Indian criminal justice system should be based on human rights.
particularly in rights of victims or accused.
Any reform of criminal justice
must be taken into account and seek to eradicate the rootcause of its
malfunctioning. It is the duty of prison administration to provide proper
facilities of medical infrastructure, food, security and santization to the
prisoners , and also to monitory body to not only review but also keep an eye on
other activities happening in the prison.
Law Article in India
You May Like
Legal Question & Answers