Custodial violence is basically the mis-use of the power by the police
officer as their tendency to fast tract solving of the cases at the earliest and
the power which make them authoritative person in the society who have power to
arrest under the law. Custodial violence in India is emerging now of the
upfront levels in news paper, legal news, to judiciary, human rights commission, etc. earlier is was not like this it was very hard and difficult to know what
happened to the person in the police custody or judicial custody,due to
enabling laws and the recent development the awareness in people and support of
[HRCI} has led the sense of support and sprite in the victims.
violence is the illegal force by the police authority or jail authority on the
convict which turned out to be very burial and senseless such as torture,
sodomized, ill treatment, cruel and unusual punishments etc., which lead to
the physiological violence to the victim. It is in turn lead to deep and
unfortunate impact on the personality of the convict,the use of such force and
hardship faced by the convict led to even more crime and hater in the society on
the release of the convict. The system in the custody is more complex and
uneconomical as it seems.
The obligatory way of keeping convict in jails should
more be take care keeping in mind the mental conditions of the convict and to
provide them more concern as given in hospitals and shelter homes, give more
concern to the psychological therapy. Also providing them hand skills in the
jail so that they could after completing sentence could work and survive their
The root cause of this unrest in society have been deeply submerged in
our culture and history from the times of Mughals and post-independence and
after independence and role played by the Britishers. The recent laws in Indian
including constitution of India,measure which needed to made enforce by the
honorable supreme court, and the recent case laws for covering the same.
Statement Of A Problem
This is the type of the violence which does not have any definite definition
under Indian legal system, and have been present from our deep and dark history
but earlier as in Mughal, British and post-independence period we hardly have
any right for our self and if was while independence we came across most brutal
and ill-treated cases of convict violence as this was only tacked with the
British to suppress the uprising and maintaining their rule and tenuity on India.
But this custodial violence exist even before them was in the times of Mughals, while they controlled all over India main and feared content was them being
very horrified and brutal they use multiple source and methods to curve out
truth from the convict which are now given name as custodial violence early at
that time convict have no rights and no claims to be plead. while using this
method even some times or more of the time lead to death of the Types of
Custodial Violence torture Harassment sexual violence ill-treatment
Physiological violence on convicts.
So this evidently gave us emphases that even
in our legal system have failed to give any decent definition of it but
custodial violence has been present in our society from the long time now,
while in the post independence period the throwing of all the political leader
in the 4 jail made our government and the legal system aware that the power
which is given to the police can be easily mis-used and abused by them.
after taking under consideration by superior courts of the country and hearing
many cases of custodial violence in the country the court have made many ruling
and given landmark measure and judgment to curb the problem form the country,
but before that we need to actually understand and take consideration of what is
exactly custodial violence in brief.
Custodial violence types
There are many type of custodial violence which non of us have ever heard of
causing death are the most commons ones form past many years now some of them
- Physiological harm: This the violence and the pain in which the
confidence and the moral of the convict are teared apart to make them feel guilty and some
time also to make them kill them self or pity on there own self this is usually
done by the communication method as given them errored information more about
the people they were so connected with or about there love ones or
manipulating them for convict them self's for the crime in the trials which
they haven't done.
- Also by forcing or coercing the convict compelling to do activities
which are morally wrong or he /she usually is unwillingly doing such as
asking vegetarian to eat chicken which is actually against his culture
- Other way is forcing or compelling one convict to torture or harass the
- Deprivation of the convict from the basic necessary needs or things such
as toilet, water, food, sleep, not given a person the basic subsistence of
life then how it could be possibly be that such person wanted to live life
under this circumstances.
- Usage of medicine this are called the pharmacological methods such as
drugs to keep the convict um conscious and torture them.
- Giving threats to the persons who are the family member of the loves
ones of the convicts.
- Physical harm
This is the one of the most disusing and brutal violence of this all and under
this several methods are adopted to hurt the convicts. Some of this are hurting
so badly that it leave marks on the body or causing such harsh and brutal hurt
that the person is disfigured
- Hurting the convict so much that he / she feels like they will die or
have immediate death fear.
- Also in include the forcing of the victim this could be many things such
giving food other damped floor, making the convict sleep in the damped floor
so that he could get cold and hurt his back indirect form of pain and hurt
- Not giving cloths to the convicts in the hottest and coldest weather of
the year of if giving not letting the wear those so that they could stay
naked indirect forcing them to stay naked and shamed in between all the
- Making marks on the body of the convict such as cutting their body
parts, things so that they could see and remind them the pain and the build
fear in them. using substances which could cause direct pain to the convict
such as chili powder and table salts, etc.
- Sexual harm :- it is the ancient source of violence which is done in the
jails and custody and using their body's for sexual manifestations and
abusing early many women who were arrested by the police officer use be
played sexually by the authority's in the name of person and custody they
rape and molest women.
- For men this the case is different as the convict been in confinement
from the long time this make them needy and due to which they perform sodomy
- This kinds of sexual use and using the body of the convict is done
only an urge and completing there own thrust and depict how a person can be
distorted in the pieces after getting the in hands of the law and order or
- Torture types :- this is method applied usually by the police authority
and the agencies and on such people who are punishable under TADA acts and
etc. Under this include various torture and other means of hurting [person
so that he or she could accept his or her crime and also to curve out
information which would be necessary be used while planning of plotting
against the government. Hurting on the sensitive parts of the body such as
testicles, head etc.
- Hurting with the things such and belts, bats, feet, fist etc.
- Hurting with gun butts.
- Not providing medical attention
- Using live electric wires in body parts
- Using means to suffocate or to stop the beating of the convict
- Using metal instrument usually edge which could cause cuts on the body
- Forms of ill-treatment:
this are the certain attack which lads to the
death of the convict in the usual ways such as using of the means of burning
the person alive. giving electrocuted currents, mocking the convict again
and again by one or the other topic in which he /she is intensively
involved, some of the common of the treatment are the raping the convict of
66 Code of criminal procedure bare act 1974.
Protection under Indian Constitution
The maker of the Indian constitution had the vast experience of the custodial
violence which they have been facing since independence and have knowledge that
the powerful authoritative people misuse their power to cause suppression this
was the reason and the intention of the constitution makers to curb this problem
so for the same they have made specific articles which could grantee the citizen
of the India some authoritative rights.
This protection under the Indian constitution is the intense and the most valid
in general life of the human being taking under consideration Article 20 of the
Indian constitution which stipulate protection in respect of the conviction for
- no one should be convicted for any offence except for the violation of
the legal enforcement at the time being in the force or doing an act which
act as offence punishable under the law.
- no person who have committed an offence or have been prosecuted once
should not be punished for the same offence again or twice.
- No person who have committed any offence or has been charged for the
offence should not be forced to be witness against the said committed crime.
before this three clauses are so interconnect they might deal with the different
sects but are at the end of the day but are working under same thread dealing
with the criminal justice system any of the criminal jurisprudence which include
evidences, procedural and substantive which could not overwhelm the convict.
This article is considered to be judicious, fair-minded and rational in the
nature. this are widely procedure which is applicable in criminal process of
conviction this section 21 is also consider as the safeguard against the torture
and all forms of custodial violence. This is also considered as no human being
should be destitute of the life and the private freedom except according to the
rule and regulation of the law of the time being in force.
This article also
played important means of the restrictions and measures under which even the
people under the authority can't not take this rights away from the person this
include the element of torture is illegal and violation, going beyond the courts
order, also all the things and the means which are used by the authority for the
convict violence is amounting to the human degradation will be consider void and
illegal and un-constitution at large and such activities is punishable on the
ground level on the police officer or the member of the law who all the
violently or in violently involve in such activities. due to which many
petition has been filled under the Honorable supreme court hearing such cases
which involve such abuse of power and infrastructure of the justice system in
Honorable supreme court while hearing the related case laws have some
across a conclusive conclusion that such activities are the clear violation of
article 14 and 21 of Indian constitution also the court have made pretty much
cleared while giving land mark judgments the liability of the state who is
appointing the said culprit officers led to the liability of the state to pay
the compensation for pain and mental ace of his/her family.
This it the main and the conclusive of the all-time safe guard provided under
Indian constitution mainly on the arrest of the person or detention under the
certain cases, that include the people who's are detained should be informed as
soon as possible and the arrest shall not be denied the right to consult and to
be defendant by the lawyer of their own choice of own wish under this the person
should also be informed about the charges which are made against the arrestee,
every person who is arrested and detained in the custody of the police or the
judicial custody's should be bought before the magistrate with in the 24 hours
from the time of being arrested excluding the time taken for the journey.
article have some what made it cleared for the police officer and the rights is
the person arrest with or with out warrant the said procedure are mentioned
under the code of criminal procedure under section 40 -60 right of arrested
This is also one of the important and the mostly backbone of the Indian
constitution and the free and fair access to the supreme court of India, this
article have made it somewhat possible for the victims to be head fast and less
effective SC even consider a mere letter stating the facts of the offence and
violation of the rights of the victims as the write petition this ways the pain
and the longer paper work which is tiring and time consuming is reduced and the
matter are given grave and more importance in cases where there is violation.
Under this article right is given to the citizen of Indian that they can move
there petition directly to the supreme court for the proceeding by the part
which is guaranteed, the supreme court have power to issue directions or orders
or writs including write like mandamus, prohibition, quo-warranto and
certiraro this are the main contemplate of the Indians constitution and also
played a 9 role of back bone of Indian legal system.
Protection under the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973
As the name depicts this code is made for the procedure which need to take under
by the police officers and the person rights while getting arrested so for the
same this is very important act as it provide a brief about the law and order
and the power under which a police officer can arrest a person under the set of
crimes are given in the schedule, this gives a good reference to the common
people so that they would understand when police persons are needed to be
polices and when they are violating the law and are involved in illegal
activities Some of the section I would like to mention which can give brief.
S49- under this section there is provided that a person who is getting arrested
or is under arrest would not be subjected to the uneasily and illogical
restraint or force until necessary till preventing the escape of the convict.
under this section that police authorities cannot keep the arrest person with
themselves for longer time without warrant or order so to the same they can not
keep the person in custody not exceeding 24 hours,so they have to present the
person to the magistrate And this provision is considered as mandatory.
under this section the persons when arrested without warrant is presented
before the magistrates, and the magistrate make an inquiry from the arrested
person regarding the arrest that the arrested in made taking under consideration
of s-57,56 and also recording the time and duration of the arrest.
under this section this controls on the police officer are made that no person,
in authority should make any threat or promise as mentioned in this section 24
of the INDIAN EVIDENCE Act, 1872. But no person should prevent the
investigation under the section any statement made by the arrestee with the free
consent and with out any implied force or torture shall be taken in to
under this section more importance under the criminal trial is given to the
confession and the way it should be taken in to the consideration and should be
recorded in the prescribed manner which is mentioned in this section and the
magistrate is also given a procedure which he /she is need to follow while
recording the confession made by the arrestee, and the police authority shall
make it clear that this can be used against them in the court proceeding, and
should be read by the authority.
Protection under Indian Penal Code, 1860
This code is the compilation of the punishments for the common people and some
for the people in authority this is a uniform method of describing every offence
and the punishment on hurt on human body in custody and otherwise as well, this
code is far more important and technical in nature as is describe the grave and
element of crime so that if could be equally possible for the person to
understand the difference between the crime and its variations and constituting
the cat in the manner which can depicts the crime.
under this section any person in the public authority doing anything against the
normal conduct which they should be following and causing harm or noncompliance
with the law shall be punishable with imprisonment for the duration of one year
or fine or some times both, this also cover the pain and hurt illegally on the
mentality, property, family, reputation of the person.
under this section more emphases given on the false charges by the persons in
authority who all are causing hurt or pain due to this dishonest charge this
section punished such persons doing such things.
under this section the person in authority is arresting the persons with false
charges, knowing the same he is doing to against the law, this happen usually
in the cases where powerful personality pay token of money to the persons in
authority for doing such illegal and illicit detentions or charging them, hence
in such cases the police officer or the persons in authority are liable for the
punishment. S330- under this section specially looking to causing hurt to extort
a confession or information thought illegal means such as torture is punishable
under this section the emphases if given more to the wrongful confinements and
force in which person in no authority is taking under the consideration.
this section deal with the rape committed by the public authority such as police
officers, hospital staff etc.
under this section the public servant who are doing conviction violence such as
rape and ill-treatment with the women in custody by the persons of jail
authority such as jailer, in remand houses, sexual activities by any of the
manager or staff member of the hospital and jail. There are many other
safeguard sections and acts which are not yet described above some of them
Indian Evidence Act 1872,
Indian Police Act,1861,
Armed Forces Act, 1958,
Human Rights Act, 1993
National Human Rights Commission India Role
This is very prestigious and leading commission of in India which help and
detect any unfortunate and misuse of the law which could directly or indirectly
infringe the rights of the individual which are guarantee by the constitution
this also work as the check and balancing the ground level check on the
authoritative system such as jails, remand homes etc. This commission is authorised to do so due to the collaboration with penal reforms and justice
The working of this commission is deep and intense as person
can directly complain under this commission for any torture or hurt undergone
after the arrest and this commission have power to investigate the same this is
also consider as the monetary body which keep record of the death and violence
in the police custody with the help of the forensic scientific means.
over all analysis statistics by the commission on the crime against the children, women and minorities they came closed to the reasonable and importance of
taking into consideration the monitoring system on the conduct of the authority
and have recommended the separation of the duties in between the police
department and the jail departments and regular shuffling of persons in
authority so that there could be less brutality by the authority.
also came across the measuring the why the violence is taking place and
psychological factors of the co convicts, also methods for speedy disposal of
the cases so that the convicts against whom the crime is nit constituted should
be freed as soon as possible and should not undergo the un necessary torture and
treatment. This commission also come across that recently from past like 25
years more of the cases under the prison are under slow trial.
what is the cause of the custodial violence in India?
- Custodial death - 09 cases
- Custodial death judicial - 201 cases
- Death in police encounter -13 cases
- Bonded labor -155 cases
The policing system in India have been domed from ages and have functioned as
the principle for the law implementation agency of the state, in the early and
medieval periods of the civilized society and the police officers were working
under rulers and the basic concept of the rule was the following the dharma and
while doing the given Dandha or punishment were the main official this was
necessary for the controlling the people and causing fear in them so that they
could sense the fear and never would try to do any wrong which us against the
kind or the regime. mostly the people of the villagers with lands and pasture
with the head of the village called sarpanch, him and some member of the
village were constituting the punishments for the crime.
All the matters of the
villages maternal, civil, criminal are taken under control by the member
selected by the villages of the state and then send to the police officer. And
today in spite of so many laws and commission still our legal system is not able
to get away from such violation activity even now people are literate and
carrying knowledge due to which the cases are highlighted and people now have
become aware about their rights and duties as citizen of the country how they
can call upon them.
Justice system is making law so that the policing and the all the people which
are given authority under the system cant misused and abuse them The main and
the basic causes of the custodial violence are such as:
- Pressure the police system in India is trying it self to be effective
and harsh due to the limit resources and less number of police officer are
recruited due to which there is informal way pressure builder up on the
police officer and the no of population and high crime rate made it more
impossible and increased the hardship of the police officers at large and
the less. This make them more unrest and violation and also increase the
corruption also the criminals have deep roots with the politicians due to
which they have strong connection in the society and can easy tamper with
the police officers.
- High profile criminals now days the criminals are so highly
facilitated and cunning even mere then the police officers, they are well
trained and used more welly
equipped weapons and technology which one way or other made harder for the
police officer to coup up with, this create a sense of insecurity and ultra-ego
hurting on the police officers due to which when they can finally get the
criminal arrested or in their hands they loose there temper and control and end
up killing them in custody.
- Pressure is built also due to less of the paper work as they have to
work on the ground levelly and daily basis dealing with crime with the same
they have gave more impasse on the collecting of evidence which lead to the
torture while collecting confessions from the convict.
- Thrust of money who don't like money every on wants to be rich and
when it is possible easily people usually fall for it and the best way out
is by brutally harassing or torturing the person in custody and extracting
the money from the family member of convict.
There are many recent cases have been filled by the family member of convict for
the safety inside the jail.
- Disciplinary - there are many police officer who thinking implied that
with out punitive punishments no person can be in order due to which they
use third degree with the criminals under custody so that in future they
could fear the sense of doing wrong and will never again repeat the same
- Absence of training the lack in the training is the foremost
reason for such torture and ill treatment the constables, gore committee on
police training 1972 was made to under go training programs for the
officials before joining so that they could not misuse there power
- Other means -there can be may psychological and satisfactory mental
illness which a police officer might have such as weaknesses, sadist
personality, affection, emotion lacking, detachments, attachments going
through the same experience.
- Social revenge such as greed for the use of violence and same pain
which the convict have done and avenging the same by any means as possible.
- Political influence many of the time there is hand and support of the
political power behind the crime and they don't want there name to be
spilled out so they pay the police officer to torture and cause pain to the
- The feeling of authoritative power the power which the state have
given to them they consider it is having no limitations.
Effects of the custodial violence on the society and convicts
This custodial violence adversely effected the people and the family of the
convicts, it is difficult to understand that after knowing the situation and
all the pain the person is going through in jail the member of the family could
survive and at the end of the day they have nothing in there control which could
Not only the family suffer but also the mental conditioning of the
convict is detoxed this is the reason why the criminals who are to tortured a
lot tend to do more crime after compelling their sentence and this is also the
reason for the increase of the crime rate in India, when they had survived all
the pain the at the end hardly any thing fears them.
The relationship of public
and police also changes when they came e across such things as this tend to
decline the trust on the police officers as they work from stopping the crime
they themselves are doing crime which is lately given bad influence on the legal
system and the policing system of the country. Jailers and all the member in the
authority have direct and indirect influence on the convict not on the mental
level but also on the personal thinking of the convict.
Factors which affect the convict under custody with statistics The role of the
co convict is huge one as in the duration of the sentence they are surrounded by
the people who have done different sets of crimes so they develop a way in
shaping the mentality of the convict and also influence them as they are now new
peers to the convict. There are many factors which effect the convict In the
jail system which determine many alternative factors for them.
Some of them have described in detail below:
- Age of the convicts the age of the co convict also determine the
nature and the form of the torture which co convict can inflict on the
person, the age also determines the factor of the environment in the jail as
to all the convict they have there co convict as a guide and friend. Capacity And Population of Tihar jail on 31.12.2019 Central jail no 1 jails
- total capacity = 565
- population = 2224
central jail no 2 jails
- total capacity =455
- population = 806 all central jails total
- total capacity = 10026
- population =17534
The above figure 5 depicts the over crowd nature of jails in the Indian jails
Some important leading judgement
The bench mark judgments passed by the supreme court for under taking the
custodial violence cases and the measure and the instruction which needed to be
followed by every police authority who under the law is taking into
Cases Joginder Singh v. state of U.P (Joginder Kumar vs State Of U.P on 25
April, 1994 Equivalent citations: 1994 AIR 1349, 1994 SCC (4) 260
Under this case the supreme court cleared that the arrest can not be made on
mere allegations of offence against any person or in routine manner as the
constitutional rights of a person mandate that he can not be arrested on simple
suspicion of complexities in offence. capacity And Population of tihar jail on
31.12.2019 central jail no 1 jails
- total capacity = 565
- population = 2224 central jail no 2 jails
- total capacity =455
- population = 806
all central jails total capacity = 10026
- population =17534
Christen community welfare council vs. state of Maharashtra (1994)
Christian Community Welfare... vs Government Of Maharashtra And... on
26 August, 1994 In this case the person was arrested and died in the police
custody and the wife of the deceased was also locked down in the lock up room of
the police station and was molested by the police officer and was informed about
the death of her husband, after the above incident she was then represented by
the christen community welfare council.
The judgment given by the Sc was that all the 10 police officer who all were
involved in 18th said incident was liable for the punishment under the Indian
penal code under section 1932, 302, 343, 354. and direct the state government to
pay compensation to the wife of the diseased The state government after the
above case directed some guidelines which needed to be restricted followed:
- Instructions to all the police officer after arresting and before
detainee is taken to the magistrate he should be medically examined.
- Detailed of his /her medical examination.
- Detail of his / her medical report in station house diary of police
station and should be forward to the magistrate
- Even after the police remand by the magistrate the detainee shall be
medically examine after every 3rs day pf the custody
- In the time of arrest medically should be done and if he is carrying any
major and minor injuries should be recorder in the inspection memos'
- The female arrestee shall not be arrested after the sun rest and before
the sun shine and if arrested is necessity should be done by the female
D.K Basu v. state of west Bengal (1997)
Under this case the chief justice of India had written letter informing about
the lock up custodial death and supreme court consider the letter as the
- Guidelines with regard to all type of the arrest and detention.
- The court observe despite the several rules and regulation and laws
aimed at providing safeguard there have been several instance of torture
still carried on
- The court cited the existence of custodial death and regarded it to be
one of the worst crime in civilized society to be governed by the rule of
- The court issue 11 guide lines
- The police person carrying out the arrest and handling the interrogation
should make clear and visible identification of the name tags with the
designations and the particulars who are handling the interrogation should
be recorded personal attendance on register.
- The police officer carrying the arrest should prepare a memo and shall
be attested by witness of the family or any member of the locality.
- The time, place of the arrest and the venue of the custody of an
arrestee must be notified to the family, relative or if the arrest live out
side the district to the legal aid cell of the district with the 8 to 12
hours after the arrest.
- The persons arrested must be fully acknowledge the right to inform
someone about there arrest or detention as soon he is put under arrest or is
- There must have made an entry in the case diary of the police station
regarding the name of the nest friend of the person who has been informed of
the arrest, whose custody the arrestee is.
- The arrestee should be examined while making arrest medically his body
parts for any minor or major injury.
- Copy's of all the above said and other should be attached and sender to
the magistrate for his record.
- The arrestee may be permitted to meet his
lawyer during the interrogation or through out the interrogation.
- A police control room should be in all district's and state head
quarters inform regarding the arrest ad the place of the custody of the
arrested shall be communicated by the police officer causing the arrest with
in 12 hours of effecting the arrest and at the police control room board, it
should be displayed on the display board.
Custodial violence is the most brutal and illegal of all violence in the legal
history of all which id done by the highly educated and trained persons in
authority of law, the law which is made to safeguard the common people and
those whom implement them on the ground level by doing such activist become the
one who are the cause of crime in the society. this custodial violence also
hurt the mental conditioning of the society and shifted their trust from peace
keeper to pain spreader.
Even though the legal system of India had made attempt
y making so many rules and regulation to curb the problem but there is more
formal and strict rule yet are needed to be made. And lack of training, low
enthusiasm and rights of the citizen needed to be undertook seriously by the
person in authority and more harsh punishment are needed, there is also need
for the free mental aid to all the member of the services so that the acts can
taken under consideration and such important duty's wont be given to such police
Re- shuffling of the duty are also important this way the police
officers wont considered there power as authoritative and with out limits and
maintaining are regular supervision on such places like jails, remand homes,
hospitals. so that any of such instance could be stickily taken in
Award Winning Article is Written By: Ms.Ginit Pal Kaur Bal, 4th Year - Amity Law School
Authentication No: SP025625662808-12-920