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DATA STORY : Custodial Deaths in India

  • Published
    18th May, 2022

Following a complaint about a crime, the police arrest a suspect in order to prevent him from committing other offensive acts. The police have physical custody of the suspect and may interrogate him. They have to produce the suspect before a judge within 24 hours of the arrest. This is defined as Police custody.

On the other hand judicial custody is when an accused is in the custody of a Magistrate. In police custody, the accused is lodged in a police station, whereas in judicial custody, he is lodged in prison. Police custody may extend only up to 15 days but judicial custody may extend up to 90 days.

Despite a large number of custodial deaths being recorded in India, the National Human Rights Commission has not recommended prosecution in even one such case between 2016-17 and 2021-22.

While Uttar Pradesh has recorded the highest number of deaths in judicial custody in the last six years among all the States, Tamil Nadu has this ignominious distinction among the southern States. Deaths recorded in judicial custody were far higher than those in police custody. It is significant that the National Human Rights Commission has not recommended prosecution in even one such case during this period. Disciplinary action was recommended in 0.2% of the cases.

This data story aims to highlight data regarding custodial deaths in India.

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