Leading judgments

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Leading judgments

  1. 1. Leading CasesTorture & Custodial Death
  2. 2. State of Uttar Pradesh Vs. Ram Sagar Yadav & Ors.; (1985) 1SCC 552• We would like to impress upon the Government the need toamend the law appropriately so that policemen who commitatrocities on persons who are in their custody are not allowed toescape by reason of paucity or absence of evidence.• The Law as to the burden of proof in such cases may be re-examined by the Legislature so that hand maids of law andorder do not use their authority and opportunities foroppressing the innocent citizens who look to them for protection.
  3. 3. D.K. Basu Vs. State of West Bengal; (1997) 1 SCC 416• The precious right guaranteed by Article 21 cannot be denied toconvicts, undertrials, detenus and other prisoners in custody.• Using any form of torture for extracting any kind of informationwould neither be “right nor just nor fair” and, therefore, wouldbe impermissible, being offensive to Article 21.• Need, therefore, is to develop scientific methods of investigationand train the investigators properly to interrogate to meet thechallenge.• The law does not permit use of third-degree methods or tortureof accused in custody during interrogation and investigationwith a view to solve the crime.
  4. 4. Shakila Abdul Gafar Khan Vs. Vasant Raaghunath Dhoble;(2003) 7 SCC 749• The Law Commission in its 113th Report recommendedamendments to the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 so as to providethat …….., if there is evidence that the injury was caused duringthe period when the person was in the police custody, the Courtmay presume that the injury was caused by the Police Officerhaving the custody of that person during that period unless thePolice Officer proves to the contrary.• The Courts are also required to have a change in theiroutlook, approach, appreciation and attitude, particularly incases involving custodial crimes and they should exhibit moresensitivity and adopt a realistic rather than a narrow technicalapproach.
  5. 5. Prakash Singh and Ors. Vs. Union of India and Ors; (2006) 8SCC 1• There shall be a Police Complaints Authority at the district levelto look into complaints against police officers of and up to therank of Deputy Superintendent of Police.• Similarly, there should be another Police Complaints Authorityat the State level to look into complaints against officers of therank of Superintendent of Police and above.• The district-level Authority may be headed by a retired DistrictJudge while the state-level Authority may be headed by a retiredJudge of the High Court/Supreme Court.
  6. 6. • The State-level Complaints Authority would take cognizance of onlyallegations of serious misconduct by the police personnel, which wouldinclude incidents involving death, grievous heart or rape in policecustody.• The district-level Complaints Authority would, apart from the abovecases, may also inquire into allegations of extortion, land/housegrabbing or any incident involving serious abuse of authority.• The recommendations of the Complaints Authority, both at the districtand State-levels, for any action, departmental or criminal, against adelinquent police officer shall be binding on the authority concerned.This direction was given in response to a huge number of complaintsagainst the police, and the lack of accountability which has led toserious misconduct by members of the police force. However, six yearsafter the Supreme Court’s directive only six states and four unionterritories have functioning PCAs.
  7. 7. Extra Judicial Execution Victim Families Association & ANR Vs.Union of India & Anr.; Writ Petition (CRL.) NO. 129 OF 2012• HRLN filed a petition for setting up a Special Investigation teamto investigate extra judicial killings of approx. 1600 victims inthe State of Manipur.• The Supreme Court appointed a Committee headed by Justice(Retd.) Santosh Hegde to investigate into six cases.• Pursuant to enquiry the SC appointed Committee held that allsix cases were cases of fake encounters.
  8. 8. • The Commission has also given its report on the role andfunctioning of the State Police and Security Forces in Manipur.The Commission has pointed out that this Court in NagaPeoples Movement for Human Rights vs. Union of India(1998) 2 SCC 109, set out detailed guidelines within which theSecurity Forces should operate under the Armed Forces (SpecialProvisions) Act, 1958 (in short AFSPA). Following thedecision of this Court, the Armed Forces Headquarters issuedcirculars laying down the Dos and Donts for the SecurityForces.• The National Human Rights Commission has also issueddetailed guidelines and the State Government has also issuedcirculars prescribing operational limits for the State Police andthe Security Forces. But, unfortunately, none of these guidelinesor Dos and Donts are followed in actual operations.
  9. 9. • The Supreme Court has observed that one of the main issuesbefore this Court, therefore, is how to ensure that the StatePolice and the Security Forces adhere to the guidelines laiddown by this Court and the directions issued by the ArmyHeadquarters, the National Human Rights Commission andthe State Government.• The matter is now pending for further hearing.

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