CUSTODIAL VIOLENCE IN INDIA: PART 2

In Part 1 of the article, we explored the rising problem of custodial violence in India, and it’s causes. In Part 2, we shall be exploring the various solutions that can be implemented to tackle the problem.

WHAT IS THE SOLUTION TO CUSTODIAL VIOLENCE?

          In India there are several constitutional and statutory provisions which have been enacted to curb custodial violence. Sections 330, 331 & 348 of IPC; Sections 25 & 26 of the Indian Evidence Act; Section 76 of CrPC and Section 29 of the Police Act, 1861 were enacted to curb the tendency of policemen to resort to torture to extract confessions.[1] Despite these provisions, there has not been a substantial decrease in the number of cases of custodial violence.

In this section, the researcher has provided certain solutions which she feels will be helpful in mitigating the problem of custodial violence.

PRISONER FEEDBACKS:

          There should be regular feedbacks which are obtained from the prisoner by an unbiased party so as to ensure an objective opinion. This unbiased party should preferably be a higher official so that he/she cannot be manipulated by the police. An environment of frankness should be created. It should be a safe space for all to vent out if they face any problems relating to violence in custody.

REGULAR CHECKS:

          Regular surprise checks should be conducted by the concerned authorities so as to ensure that their subordinates to not indulge in such acts.

HEFTY FINES AND PUNISHMENT:

          In order to ensure that such behaviour is not emulated by others, there is a need to punish the wrongdoer. The punishment should be harsh so that others are discouraged from doing the same. Hefty fines and suspension can be some of the tactics which can be employed.

STRICT SURVEILLANCE:

          There should be a proper system of surveillance. Closed circuit televisions (CCTVs) should be installed and they should be checked regularly. Prisoners should be frisked and checked for any thing that they can use to self harm. All activities should be monitored.

COUNSELLING:

          Many a times prisoners might not speak out because of the fear of being punished by the police. In this case, counselling sessions can be organized by trained professionals who can analyse their behaviour, ask probing questions and come to conclusions. Counselling sessions should also be held for the police which because of work related stress which can manifest it in the form of violence.

As was explored earlier, the problem of custodial violence is multifaceted and stems from various sociological and political causes. It has to be looked at from the grassroots level. It is imperative to sensitise people about this rising issue, since this violates Human Rights and goes against the principles of natural justice.


[1] Manmeet Singh, “Custodial Violence in India”(Legal Services India.com) < http://www.legalservicesindia.com/article/1893/Custodial-Violence-in-India.html> accessed 8 October 2019.

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