CUSTODIAL VIOLENCE Syllabus GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     24th January 2024        

Context: The Supreme Court recently orally observed that the 2022 incident involving four Gujarat Police officers publicly flogging men. The conduct of the four officers were found to be in contempt of the directions of the Supreme Court in the D.K. Basu judgment of 1996 against police abuse and custodial violence.

Custodial Violence

  • About: Custodial violence primarily refers to violence in police and judicial custody. It includes death, rape and torture.
  • Aspect of Custodial Violence: Torture:  Mental & Physical, Sexual Harassment, Rape, Death.

D.K. Basu Judgment

  • About: In 1997, the landmark judgment of D.K. Basu v. State of West Bengal established crucial guidelines aimed at preventing custodial torture and deaths.
  • Upholding Fundamental Rights: In the DK Basu vs State of West Bengal case, the Supreme Court emphasized the protection of prisoners and detainees' Fundamental Rights under Article 21, reiterating that any restrictions imposed on these rights must be legally permissible.
  • DK Basu Guidelines

oDetails of all police personnel handling the interrogation must be recorded in a register.

oThe arresting officer must prepare a memo of arrest at the time of arrest.

oPolice must notify the time, place, and place of custody to the next of kin residing outside the district through the Legal Aid Organisation and the local police station within 8 to 12 hours.

oCopies of all documents, including the memo of arrest, should be sent to the Magistrate for their records.

oThe arrestee may be allowed to meet with their attorney during interrogation, though not necessarily throughout the entire process.