what is custodial death?
It refers to violence in police custody and in judicial custody. Besides death, Rape & Torture are two other forms of custodial violence.
Section 330, 331 & 348 of IPC under the Indian Evidence Act and in section 76 of CrPC are enacted to reduce the torture in custody.
The major problem faced is that in a state like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, M.P and Andra Pradesh there are more than 100 custodial deaths are recorded but no conviction happened on the culprit or any suspect.
Stand of NHRC
The National Human Rights Commission has stated some of the reasons which enable its a strong working in this:-
- Legal Provisions – The UN conventions report for against torture has not yet ratified by India, which may be further proved as a setback for India at International level.
- There is a provision against torture which is a fundamental right enshrined in the constitution under Article 21, which is violated incessantly in custody.
- In Section 41 of CrPc in 2009, it includes that ‘In case of any suspect before being convicted his family must be protected from any allegations and brutality under interrogation.
A recent case in Tamil Nadu of Custodial brutality has been increased rage against police dissipation.
In late June, a 60-year-old man, P Jayaraj, and his son Emmanuel Bennix (31) died in custody after being tortured and assaulted for two days by police officers of Sathankulam police station in Thootukudi district, Tamil Nadu. Police officers, and others, reportedly beat and assaulted them, including forcible anal penetration with batons. They were arrested on June 19. Their crime: Jayaraj had kept his mobile phone shop open slightly beyond lockdown closing hours, and his son had later sought to defend and protect his father from police abuse. The killings symbolise the horrifying extent of police atrocities against persons in custody.
At first, the police denied any wrongdoing, busied itself only with perfunctory suspensions, and dragged its feet on registering an FIR. The dogged intervention of the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court from June 23 has upturned seemingly limitless impunity into accountability. By July 2, policemen were booked for murder, wrongful confinement and tampering with evidence.
- No proper search of the arrested person is being taken before his entry in the lock-up of the police station and the arrested persons have committed suicide in the lock-up by cutting their nerves, by hanging, taking poison or by burning themselves
- No other method of interrogation is being adopted except using force.
- Lack of supervision during interrogation by the senior officers.
- The officers use to come to the police station after the death in police custody.
- Traditional habit of using force by the police is prevailing in the department and it is proved by the fact that the police have used force not only with harden criminals but they have used force with those persons who have no previous criminal record and they died in police custody.
- Death in police custody due to suicide committed by the accused in the lock-up as a result of misbehaviour of police personnel with the arrested person.
- No respect for law and human rights of other persons and too much eagerness of being successful by adopting wrong methods of using force which results in custodial death.
- Police culprit of custodial violence must be criminally prosecuted not just administratively.
- Ratifying UN convention against custodial torture while the interrogation is indeed required.
- For investigating these cases of custodial deaths, the administration must form an Independent agency.
- While giving training to police personnel their sensitisation is required.
- Installation of CCTV cameras are made mandatory in cells and while interrogation the suspect.