Following the horrific custodial death of the father-son duo Jayaraj and Bennix in Tuticorin of Tamil Nadu, a writ petition has been filed before the Supreme Court seeking elaborate guidelines to ensure prevention of custodial torture.
“The Tamil Nadu incident underlines afresh, the urgent need for institutional correctives within the policing system in this country and the acute need for India to enact a strong law to prohibit and prosecute cases of torture and custodial deaths, in fulfillment of its legal obligations, both national and international, to guarantee protection to the right to life,” read the petition filed by People’s Charioteer Organization (PCO), through its Secretary, Legal Cell, Mr. Devesh Saxena. “We failed to eliminate the colonial attitude of our police” added the plea filed in the public interest.
It has been further submitted that “Despite the guidelines of the SC in the DK Basu case, custodial torture is continuing unabated. There are gaping legal lacunae in the legal, legislative and statutory framework of India, owing to which we’re witnessing a prevailing epidemic of Custodial Violence/Rapes/Torture, at the hands of certain our men in uniforms, which equates to nothing but a blatant violation and mockery of Human Rights, legitimized, facilitated, and perpetrated by the State Machinery.”
Subsequently, the petition contended that there has been a lack of implementation of the guidelines passed by the honorable Supreme Court in Prakash Singh vs. Union of India (2006) 8 SCC 1 and D.K Basu vs. State of West Bengal (1997) 1 SCC 416.
Thus, the petitioner sought for a direction to the Central Government to form an Independent Committee monitored by the Supreme Court, consisting of members from all the relevant departments/ministries to review the entire legal framework and find pitfalls in the existing legal framework to curb the menace of custodial torture/deaths/rapes, to enable rehauling of the legislative mechanisms in consonance with the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court, with due regard to the recommendations of the Law Commission(s) and the International Legal Regime.