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NHRC Seeks Report On Unnao Custodial Death: What Law Says About It

The NHRC directed an inquiry seeking the detailed report regarding the custodial death of the rape victim's father. The deceased man was arrested by the police under Arms Act after his daughter tried to lodge a complaint of rape against BJP MLA. Reportedly, he suffered from 19 injuries due to custodial torture. Another man in Kochi died on Monday due to custodial torture, for which Kerala SHRC instructed for an inquiry report. Let us see what law has the provision against custodial death.

Uttar Pradesh government and the state police chief receive a notice from National Human Rights Commission seeking the detailed report regarding the death of the father of an alleged gangrape victim in judicial custody in Unnao. The Commission has further instructed to take care that the family does not get harassed further.

The deceased man, aged about 50 years was arrested on April 5th under Arms Act, and was rushed to the hospital ob April 8th and died on the next day during treatment. A case has been registered against four people based on the complaint lodged by the deceased wife. The report says, the four constables who committed the crime are been suspended. The issue arose when the deceased daughter alleged that the Unnao Police did not registered a case against BJP MLA despite her complaint of being raped by the MLA, neither any action was taken.

The Commission said that on 8th April evening he complained of stomach ache, and he was rushed to the hospital where he died around 3.30 AM next day. The media report said, the deceased man had 19 injuries on his body when he was taken to the hospital, moreover he was taken to the hospital only when his situation deteriorated.

NHRC alleges that it is a matter of custodial death, let us have a brief knowledge about custodial death laws in India:

  • As per the Custodial Crimes (Prevention, Protection and Compensation) Bill, 2006, custodial crime means an offence caused against any arrested person when the person is in police custody or judicial custody, who has a power under any law to arrest and detain a person in custody during that period.
  • The Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010 was introduced in the Lok Sabha as a measure to ratify the UN Convention against Torture 1975 with an aim to classify the custodial torture which causes grievous hurt or danger to life, limb and health, as a punishable offence. 
  • The laws regarding custodial death is not much clear in India. Sec. 176 of the Code of Criminal Procedure says about the enquiry power of a magistrate if there is a custodial death. The offenders  are usually convicted under Sec. 304A IPC for death due to negligent act, and Sec. 302 IPC for murder.

In another incident occurred in Kochi yesterday pointed finger at Police for custodial death. As per the forensic report, Sreejith, the man died on monday, was subjected to torture before death. The Kerala State Human Rights Commission directed an inquiry regarding the matter by an officer in the rank of SP.

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Reviewed by:
Rashmita Das
Published on 10-Apr-18