The Truth about Custodial Violence in India

The Truth about Custodial Violence in India
Posted on 29-01-2022

We totally ignore many important topics of the society in our daily life

but slowly this avoidance/ignorance turns into acceptance and looks very normal

Let's take an example of the famous movies and series

Like all these movies and series ..............

what was common in all these series and movies?

Police Torture

According to a report, if a lead character performs any violent activity or any fake encounter

usually, viewers encourage that act

According to the point of view of an average Bollywood, viewer police is just not to maintain law and order

they think their work is to just punish and kill the villains

Hey everybody! This is Priya and you are watching Finology Legal

In today's video we are going to cover many important topics

Like Prevention Of Torture Bill, in what stage it is in our parliament

the second topic is, what are the rights available for an arrested person in India

and lastly, we will know about what steps the Supreme court has taken in this matter

So let's start now.

After the death of George Floyd in the US

and the custodial death of Jeyraj and Fenix at Sathankulam Police Station

raised a lot of concerns about the matter.

and again it has given air to have a new debate around police 3rd degree torture

The death of George Floyd in US resulted in heavy protest and as a result of protest

Congress has decided to pass a police reform bill

and along with this it is discussed to maintain a National database which will register all police misconducts

Will this bill turn into a law, time will tell us about this

But do you know same Anti Torture Bill was discussed in India also

it was 10 years before, it is been discussed in parliament so many times but not passed yet

Globally it was discussed first time by United Nations in 1975

India is a member of UN, so if any law of UN has to be applied in India, then we have to make a law by the parliament

So making UN Convention Against Torture 1975 a law , a bill was presented Lok sabha in 2010 named

Prevention Of Torture Bill 2010

so according to this bill if any public servant commits a torture

then punishment has prescribed against him

This bill explains the word "Torture" very broadly and simply

and says that if any public servant tortures any individual for deriving any information or his confession

if he hurts that individual grievously or tortures his life, limb mentally or physically

then all these things will be considered as torture and against this act there is a punishment of 10 years

After being passed by Lok Sabha it comes to Rajya Sabha and for further consideration

it passes the bill to Rajya Sabha Select Committee Suggestions

Committee provides some suggestions for the bill and says the points like the definition of torture should be expanded

secondly if any woman or child has been tortured then the punishment should be more strict

and thirdly they suggested to setup an Independent Authority which can investigate all the activities

and provide all the needed compensations to the victims.

and after including all these suggestions this bill was presented repeated times in Rajya Sabha

but till now this bill has to been passed by Rajya Sabha yet

In 2017 Law Commission said that they are seriously considering about the bill

but before passing the bill there should be changes done in Indian Penal Code, Indian Evidence act and Criminal Procedure Act

seems like a tough work, shall I tell one more big thing

In 2019 there were 1700 Custodial Deaths

now lets know what are the major judgments given by Supreme Court against the police torture and violence

and in the last judgment we will get to know about the guidelines which every police officer has to follow while arresting someone

the first case is Rudul Shah Vs State of Bihar 1983

in this case petitioner Rudul Shah was kept illegally in jail for 14 years

habeas corpus writ was filed and his immediate release was demanded

this case is important because in this case for the very first time Supreme Court realized that

if by any state any individuals constitutional rights is been violated, then the individual will get compensation

2nd case is Saheli vs Commissioner of Police 1989

in this case police along with zameendar misbehaves with the rented mother and his 9 year old child

due to which the 9 year old child dies and Supreme Court compensated the mother by awarding 75000 Rs

this case is important because in this case Supreme Court gave option to Delhi administration

to recover the amount by the police officer who is responsible for the incident

3rd case is Nilabati Behera Vs 1993 of Orissa

in this case Suman Behera was arrested by police and the very next day her body was found on railway track with multiple injuries

in this case petitioner was awarded by a compensation of Rs 1lakh 55 thousand

so in last 2 cases we got to know that while awarding compensation supreme court doesn't follow any specific criteria

according to the situation of the case the compensation is decided

but in this case Supreme court said that it is a state's responsibility to give compensation not police officer's

The next case is Joginder singh vs State of Up 1994

in this case Supreme Court said that if any arrest is done without any justification then it will be an illegal act

Supreme court said that police officers has the power to arrest but just for using this power they cant arrest

there must be a reasonable justification for arresting someone

and now we will discuss about the most important case of Custodial violence

D.k. Basu vs State of West Bengal 1997

In this case Supreme court recognized custodial violence and police torture and said

custodial violence is an attack on human dignity

in this case court said after having many recommendations and policies

still the cases of torture and deaths in police custody are increasing

so in this case total 11 guidelines were given

which every police officer has to follow while arresting someone

these guidelines and rights is available to every arrested person in the country

so now quickly we will look at the guidelines

So what are the guidelines which police officers has to follow while arresting someone let us see

1st is which ever police person is handling the interrogation or arrest

they should clearly carry their name tag in which their name and designation must be seen clearly

and police has to maintain a register of those officials who are handling the case or interrogation

2nd is arrest memo

if any police officer is arresting someone they has to maintain an arrest memo

in which all the details related to arrest should be there like the signature of any witness person , time, date and place of arrest

3rd guideline is that the arrested persons relative or friends must be informed about the arrest of that person

and where he has been detained this also should be informed

and they have to maintain an official diary

in which all the records has to be mentioned like which officer is handling the case

who has been informed, like this things should be mentioned in that diary

next is Inspection Memo

if the arrestee has any major or minor injuries then it should be noted down

Inspection memo would be signed by both officer and arrestee

and arrestee will get a copy of inspection memo

After this comes Medical Examination

after the arrest of the person he should be medically examined in every 48 hours

after this all these documents - medical report, inspection memo, arrest memo

the copy all these documents will sent to the magistrate for their records

and while at the time of interrogation arrested person can meet to his lawyer

and there should be a Police control room in every district and state head quarter

in which every information related to the arrest they would receive within 12 hours of the arrest

and Police Control Room board will display all these information

So Sheela barse Vs State of Maharashtra

and D.K basu Vs State of West Bengal

after the guidelines given on the basis of this cases then also the cases of Custodial Voilence still rises

I remember in my college days when we were discussing about this matter

then majority of people's thought was without any torture truth cant be taken out from that person

and several people's opinion was those people whose duty is to maintain law and order

and if they start using torture then it is not acceptable at all

So which side you support after seeing both aspects

and what is your opinion about Anti Torture Bill

Do let me know in the comment box!

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Hope you have liked today's video!