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Haryana’s compensation in custodial torture case

  • Published
    14th May, 2022
Context
  • The Haryana human rights panel recommends Rs 25,000 compensation in custodial torture case.
    • They said, ‘It is the responsibility of the state authorities to take care of all persons in custody’.
    • The police are empowered by the state to enforce laws and maintain public order
Background
  • Custodial torture, often known as extra-judicial executions has been on a rise in India especially between 2002 and 2007.
  • According to Asian Centre for Human Rights, the nationwide figures are four custodial deaths per day.
  • There have been 7468 reported custodial deaths in this five year period.
  • However, the severity of the torture in India is far worse than statistics suggest.
  • While award of compensation in 684 cases of custodial violence was given by the National Human Rights Commission alone from 1994 to 2007.
  • This is because victims rarely report cases against the police due to fear of reprisals. More than half the cases of custodial torture are not even reported.

What is custodial torture?

  • Custodial torture a form of torture that generally happens when a person alleged of any crime is under the custody of law enforcement officials.
  • The Supreme Court has held that Custodial torture is a naked violation of human dignity and degradation which destroys, to a very large extent human personality.
  • Custodial torture is a punishable offense under the existing laws but due to various reasons, the accused do not get convicted.
    • o   Certain modification in the law is required and what's more important is the implementation of the existing and newly enacted laws in the right manner.

What does the constitution says?

  • Violation of Article 21: In India where rule of law is inherent in each and every action and right to life and liberty is prized fundamental right adorning highest place amongst all important fundamental rights, instances of torture and using third degree methods upon suspects during illegal detention and police remand casts a slur on the very system of administration.
  • Human rights take a back seat in this depressing scenario.
  • Torture in custody is at present treated as an inevitable part of investigation.
  • The former Supreme Court judge, V.R. Krishna Iyer, has said that custodial torture is worse than terrorism because the authority of the State is behind it.
    • Custodial torture is universally held as one of the cruellest forms of human rights abuse. T
  • The Constitution of India, the Supreme Court, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the United Nations forbid it.

Role of Human Rights commission

  • The NHRC is responsible for the protection and promotion of human rights, defined by the act as "Rights Relating To Life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the constitutionor embodied in the international covenants and enforceable by courts in India".
  • The Protection of Human Rights Act mandates the NHRC to perform the following:
  • Proactively or reactively inquire into violations of human rights by government of India or negligence of such violation by a public servant.
    • The Protection of human rights and suggest measures for their effective implementation.
    • Review the factors, including acts of terrorism that inhibit the enjoyment of human rights and recommend appropriate remedial measures.
    • To study treaties and other international instruments on human rights and make recommendations for their effective implementation
    • Undertake and promote research in the field of human rights
    • To visit jails and study the condition of inmates
    • Engage in human rights education among various sections of society and promote awareness of the safeguards available for the protection of these rights through publications, the media, seminars and other available means
    • Encourage the efforts of NGOs and institutions that works in the field of human rights volunteerly.
    • Considering the necessity for the protection of human rights.
    • Requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office

Existing laws and guidelines in India

  • Police Act, 1861
  • Indian Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure
  • The evidence act

 Supreme Court interventions

  • Joginder Kumar V. State of Uttar Pradesh (1994
  • D.K Bose V. State of West Bengal, 1997 case
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