13 Apr Police Custody
This article covers “Daily Current Affairs for UPSC” and the topic is about ‘Police custody’ which is in news, it covers “Polity and Governance” In GS-2; the following content has relevance for UPSC.
For Prelims: Police Custody
For Mains: GS-2, Polity and Governance
Why in news: A bench comprising Justices MR Shah and CT Ravikumar observed that the court needs to review a landmark 1992 ruling, which held that no detention in police custody beyond the first 15 days’ arrest is permissible.
- The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had petitioned the Supreme Court for an extradition of an accused.
- The CBI claims that despite police custody detention, he could not be probed by the CBI earlier.
- The accused objected to the new demand for police custody, citing a 30-year-old court precedent that stated that police custody beyond 15 days from the date of arrest is not lawful.
- In Central Bureau of Intelligence vs. Anupam J. Kulkarni, the Supreme Court ruled that an accused cannot be retained in police custody after 15 days from the date of arrest.
About Police Custody
Police custody in India refers to the detention of an individual by law enforcement officials for the purpose of investigation into an alleged crime. It is governed by the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), which outlines the legal procedures and safeguards to prevent the abuse of power and protect the rights of individuals in custody.
In India, it can be broadly classified into two types:
- Judicial Custody: Judicial custody is the custody of an accused person by the order of a judicial magistrate or a court. It is granted for a specific duration and is subject to periodic review by the court. During judicial custody, the accused is held in jail or prison.
- Police Custody: Police custody is the custody of an accused person by the police for the purpose of investigation. It is granted by a police officer and is generally limited to a maximum of 15 days, as per the judgment of the Supreme Court of India in the case of D.K. Basu v. State of West Bengal. During police custody, the accused is held in a police station or other designated police facility.
Individuals in police custody have certain legal rights, including the right to be informed of the grounds of arrest, the right against self-incrimination, the right to legal representation, the right to be produced before a magistrate within 24 hours, and the right to humane treatment and protection against torture or other forms of ill-treatment.
These rights are protected under the Constitution of India and various other laws and regulations, and it is the responsibility of law enforcement agencies to ensure that these rights are respected and upheld.
Laws on Police Custody in India
The law in India, specifically the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), provides guidelines and safeguards regarding police custody. Here are some key points:
- Duration: As per the judgment of the Supreme Court of India in the case of D.K. Basu v. State of West Bengal, police custody is generally limited to a maximum of 15 days. However, in exceptional cases, where authorized by a magistrate, it can be extended for up to 15 days more, subject to a total limit of 30 days. It’s important to note that police custody is not meant for extracting confessions, and the purpose of police custody is primarily for investigation.
- Rights of the Accused: An accused person in police custody has certain rights, including the right to be informed of the grounds of arrest, the right against self-incrimination, the right to legal representation, and the right to be produced before a magistrate within 24 hours. These rights are protected under the Constitution of India and other laws, and it is the duty of the police to ensure that these rights are respected.
- Prohibition of Torture: The law prohibits the use of torture or other forms of ill-treatment during police custody. Torture is a violation of human rights and is strictly prohibited under the Constitution of India, international human rights conventions, and various other laws and regulations. Any complaints of torture or ill-treatment during police custody should be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.
- Recording of Custodial Statements: Any statement made by an accused person in custody must be recorded in writing and signed by the accused, and a copy of the statement must be given to the accused. This is to ensure that the accused’s statements are accurately recorded and documented.
- Supervision by Magistrate: It is subject to the supervision of a magistrate. The magistrate has the authority to visit the place of detention, inquire about the treatment of the accused, and take appropriate action if any violations are found.
- Judicial Custody as an Alternative: In certain cases, instead of police custody, an accused person may be remanded to judicial custody, where the accused is kept in jail or prison by the order of a magistrate. Judicial custody is subject to regular review by the court, and the accused has similar rights as in police custody.
What happens after the 15-day custody
- After the 15-day custody period, as per the guidelines set by the Supreme Court of India, the police must either release the accused person or produce them before a magistrate. The magistrate will then decide whether to remand the accused person to judicial custody or grant them bail, depending on the circumstances of the case and the applicable laws.
- If the police are not able to complete their investigation within the 15-day custody period, they may request an extension of custody from the magistrate for a maximum of 15 additional days, subject to a total limit of 30 days of police custody. However, such an extension of custody can only be granted by the magistrate after considering the reasons and justifications provided by the police and ensuring that the accused person’s rights are protected.
- If the police are unable to complete their investigation within the permissible period of police custody, and if the accused person is not released on bail, they must be produced before the magistrate, who will then decide whether to remand them to judicial custody or release them on bail, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case.
- During judicial custody, the accused person is kept in jail or prison, and their rights and treatment are governed by the laws and regulations applicable to prisoners. The accused person has the right to legal representation, the right to a fair trial, and other fundamental rights as enshrined in the Constitution of India and other relevant laws.
Daily Current Affairs for UPSC
Daily Current Affairs plays a crucial role in the UPSC examination. It is called knowledge of the backbone of the UPSC examination. If the examinee wants to pass the UPSC examination, they should read daily current affairs regularly. Also, read weekly and monthly current affairs for the IAS exam preparation.