Is Custodial Torture a Threat to Justice?: A SocioLegal Study

Devina Sharma
Gujarat Maritime University, Gandhinagar
Raksha Thakur
Mumbai National Law University

Volume II – Issue I, 2020

As Adriana P. Bartow aptly said, torture is a sorely painful wound that you can almost see it, but it’s so invisible that nothing can fix it. Custodial torture is one of the painful assaults which can inflict by the police for extortion of confessions and evidence; it is not an uncommon ritual in India. It disregards humanity, questions the dignity of the person and exposes him to violence by the person who is supposed to be the protector. It places a stigma on the system of administration where it is believed that rule of law is supreme amongst all fundamental rights.

The strong independent judiciary of India continuously strive to keep a check upon such happenings and the statutory provisions provided under the Indian laws. Justice Krishna Iyer was of the view that it is one of the worst types of violence, even worse than terrorism as behind it there is the state power.

Custodial torture has been on rise in India from 2002. As per Asian centre of human rights, every day 4 custodial deaths are occurring. It is not a hidden fact that victims rarely report the cases against the police, they fear reprisals.

This paper would study about the reasons for lack of legal representation and financial resources leading to prolonged custody of under trial prisoners causing significant amount of mental trauma which is violating human rights of a person.

The paper is designed in a manner that it would first start with the Introduction to Custodial Torture following the concepts and precedents in relation to it. The later part of the paper would deal with prolongation of under trial custody and the relevant international conventions. Conclusion and Suggestions form the last part of this paper.

Keywords – Custodial torture, Fundamental Rights, Human Rights, Judiciary..


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