Mandatory judicial inquiry in cases of custodial death, custodial rape agree to hear plea: SC
The Supreme Court will now take in concern the cases of death, disappearance and alleged rape in police custody or in jail, implementing Section 176(1A) of Code of Criminal Procedure.
Petitioner Suhas Chakka, a human rights activist, chalenges the government’s failure in carrying out judicial inquiry in such cases. He stated the statistical figures of “Crime in India” Annual reports published by NVRB. It says that there were 1303 death or disappearance of persons in police custody from 2005 to 2017. 827 of which were police custody without court remand. Which means, in total , only 476 persons in police custody, who were found dead or disappeared were with court remand. And yet, judicial inquiry was ordered in only 104 cases. 79% of cases were just not inquired.
The report calculated the disregarded cases in some states. “As per information shared by the Delhi Police, two cases of deaths and three cases of disappearance in police custody took place from 2015-2017 in Delhi. Out of these five cases, inquiry by the Judicial Magistrate or the Metropolitan Magistrate as provided under Section 176(1A) CrPC was conducted in only ONE CASE of death in police custody at Ambedkar Nagar Police Station.”
Petitioner is of the view that, “While deaths in judicial custody can take place for a number of reasons ranging from natural death to torture to death, death in police custody takes place mainly as a result of torture.”
The rule of law failed to prevail as since 23june 2006, when, Section 176(1A) CrPC was added, remained unimplemented efficiently. This has provided a shield to the law- breakers. The rights of the citizens of India, though guaranteed by law, are not enforced. Even if the person is in the custody, it is the duty of the government to protect his rights as per the law.
The petitioner through his petition prayers to issue a writ, order or direction in the nature of mandamus or any other writ,as followings:-
1) directing the immediate registration and initiation of proceedings under Section 176 (1A) of the CrPC all such cases.
2) directing the District / Sessions Judge of every District in the Indian Union to file Quarterly Report(s) before the Chief Justice of their respective High Court, informing /intimating the death, disappearance or rape of any person in Police or custody of the State and whether and if, proceedings under Section 176 (1A) have been initiated in accordance with law;
3) directing the District / Sessions Judge of every District in the Indian Union to file Quarterly Report(s) before the National Human Rights Commission / NHRC informing / intimating the death, disappearance or rape of any person in Police or custody;
4) directing and empowering the National Human Rights Commission / NHRC to file and initiate appropriate proceedings for invocation /enforcement of Section 176 (1A) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, in all those cases where such proceedings were not initiated / commenced in accordance with law.