Custodial Torture in India

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This post has been written by Shaily Jain,a second year law student from Amity law school, Amity University, Chhattisgarh.

Introduction

Guardianship and protective care are referred to as custody. If a person is being arrested it does not mean that the police can use an excessive amount of violence or cruelty. Prisoners are not meant for taking out anger, frustration, or revenge.

They must be treated according to the law and correct procedure and should be permitted to use their rights. Showing person humanity who has done something inhuman or caused trouble to others may be a positive thing to show them that “you too can choose the right path and live your life with respect and dignity”.

How can anyone justify this? Using cruelty which causes suffering, a lot of pain, mental breakdown, heart attack, and even death, etc? To a person who can’t retaliate or cause any harm by any means is an investigation? Show of physical power and superiority with theses ways blemishes the ‘uniform’. It degrades the decency and meaning of police protection. It should be considered as one of the worst crimes in a modern civilized society which is governed by law and order. This is also a great threat to an orderly civilized society. In spite of so many laws, the prisoners are still tortured. The police job is to investigate not to murder behind bars.

Natural and Unnatural Death

When the person in custody dies of Natural death, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, an officer of PCS ranking conducts his inquiry under CR.P.C section 176 and thus no compensation is provided by the state. Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are an exception, as they provide Rs. 20,000 as compensation in the case of natural death in custody.

In the case of unnatural death in custody under four sub-points that are Suicide (309 IPC), Accidental death (304A IPC), Murder (302 IPC), Medical Negligence (304 IPC). In such cases, conduction of inquiry by Judicial Magistrate under 176CrPc is being done and the victims are provided with suitable compensation. More compensation is being given to the SC/ST in case of death in jail.

Human Rights For Prisoners In Custody

A prisoner goes to prison to serve his punishment for the crime/crimes he has committed, he does not go there for mental and physical abuse. It is absurd to behave with prisoners like animals. They too have equal human rights as everyone in the country after their imprisonment. However, they are treated still as criminals. At least they should be given a chance to prove themselves. Society must learn to accept them and treat them equally. In other words, they must also be given jobs and must be allowed to live normally like others.

The prisoner while in the custody of police in India is entitled to ‘Right Against Custodial Torture’ under article 21 of the Indian Constitution. It is believed that prison bars cannot keep the basic rights of an individual. But in India, no one cares to bother about the there rights. In the name of investigation, the police torture and do every inhuman thing possible.

Sometimes it is hard to recognize who are real criminals? The prisoners who are just behind bars with empty hands or the police who torture them in every inhuman way possible.

Number of Deaths In Police Custody

According to a report published by the National Campaign Against Torture, 1,731 people died in custody in the year 2019, which means 5 deaths daily.

According to the Indian Annual Report on Torture 2019, there were 125 people who died in police custody. Uttar Pradesh was on top with 14 deaths followed by Tamil Nadu and Punjab with 11 deaths each and 10 deaths in Bihar.

Out of all this these deaths are not been reported by anyone, many of them never come to light, no one cares about them only when the matter is of great concern then people start speaking.

The recent cases like the death of George Floyd in the USA. The death of father and son Jayaraj and Fenix from Tamil Nadu. Thet both have sparked some light in the hearts of people. A great number of people are protesting for their justice but the question is whether this shall be repeated again or not?

Case of Jayaraj & Bennix

In the case Jayaraj & Bennix the Indian Police has crossed every bit of inhuman limits, they tortured them like hell and then murdered them. It seems like what happened with ‘Nirbhaya: Delhi Gang Rape Case’ was nothing compared to this.

I fail to understand how the police could act like this. Beating, shoving wood sticks in their buttholes, doing sexual activities, calling out their friends, and allowing them to beat both the son and father inside the cell and even crushing their private parts. I am in total shock and fear and the question arises should I call the police for help in need or should I run away from them?

People are still not reacting much to this case just because the culprits are policemen. It can also be because the victims are men just too, imagine if they were women! The whole scenario would have been different. In my opinion, the culprits must be given capital punishment to set an example for others that there is nothing above the law. And it could be a landmark judgment to ensure that this kind of inhumanity would be never repeated again. People must stand together united so that justice should be served. It was a cold and ruthless murder, no human should go through as they went. I strongly oppose condemning this act done by the police. I fear if it happened with them, it can also happen with me or with anyone.

Conclusion

Criminals must be not protected at any cost, this mindset is wrong. They must be given the punishment they deserve by the court. Others should not make it their aim to punish criminals in their way. The investigation is important and it should be done in the right way. You can not just torture someone and call it an investigation. The government should ensure that the prisoners are not getting tortured and given the right amount of food and sleep. Police must not use brutal ways of investigation. They are meant for protection to the public and, prisoners are also public of the nation.

It is wrong to think that if police have arrested someone, they can now beat and torture and the person in custody. This matter should be looked seriously, and the deaths and extreme torture must be stopped.

Reference

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