Discuss the challenges faced in curbing custodial violence. Also highlight the legal concerns associated with it and ways to address this issue.

India is a ‘nation of laws’, we have consistently ranked high in the ‘World Justice Projects’ and ‘Rule of Law Index’. Hence, custodial killings are an affront to our democracy & due process.

  • Custodial violence refers to use of unethical coercion or physical force to make the accused behave in a particular manner.
  • They are used to get confessions; even though they are not admissible in court. Thus, India has one of the largest under trial prisoners in world as these confessions don’t stand in the court and cases drag on.
  • Custodial violence is also used to make someone witness or for corrupt favours, etc.

Challenges in Curbing:

  • Tough to prove violence.
  • Nexus by the police.
  • Police argue that to get information, a certain level of intimidation is necessary.
  • Policing works on the Indian Police Act, 1861. Hence, the work-culture is apathetic & colonial attitude prevails.

Legal Concerns:

  • Covenant on civil & political rights violated.
  • FR & Constitution have explicitly prohibited it.
  • Against principles of natural justice & due process of law.

Way Forward: Steps

  • Prakash Singh v/s Union of India case, recommendations of 2006 to be implemented.
  • Recently SC has directed CCTV in all police stations to curb custodial violence.
  • Strict action & commission of inquiry to be established that would punish the culprits.
  • Sensitization & IEC of the police force.
  • Empowered citizenry who are aware of duties & obligations.

Conclusion:

Article 20 & 22 accord protection to all in case of detention, which must be protected at all costs.

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