Dear Editor, We are living in a democratic country where people are given opportunity to choose their favourite leader for the smooth and well governance in the country, but it hurts a lot when I heard heart wrenching news from across the country about custodial violence by police resulting into death of prisoners or detenu. The officers who had taken to serve the people of nation, pledge after coming into power forget their ethics, etiquette and duties and start acting like dictators as they are in authority, which is neither tolerable nor acceptable at all. Recent death of father-son duo from Tamil Nadu allegedly due to custodial violence is very heart wrenching and has sparked anger across India. Their only fault was that they passed a statement that might be defamatory for the police department. If we assume that it was father and his son’s fault but treatment given by police personnel was 100 times worse than that. Over 1700 custodial deaths were recorded between 2001 to 2018 nationwide where as only 26 policemen got convicted. Section 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure deals with two type of custody that is police custody and judicial custody. Under section 167(1) of Cr. P.C., ‘the magistrate to whom an accused person is forwarded under this section may whether he has or not has jurisdiction to try the case, from time to time, authorise the detention of the accused in such custody as he may think fit. Provided that the magistrate may authorise the detention of the accused person, otherwise than in the custody of the police, beyond the period of 15 days if he is satisfied that adequate ground exist for doing so. So as per section 167 (1) of Cr. Pc. ‘police custody’ can be granted for a maximum period of fifteen days only. Police custody basically means police remand for the purpose of interrogation. In law actually a police officer has two occasions to keep a person in its custody firstly, from the period when he arrests a person till he produce the said person in the court i.e first 24 hours of the arrest of accused. Secondly, when police gets remand from court after producing the accused in the court which can be extended up to a maximum period fifteen days, thereafter, a person is sent to judicial custody which in general terms means jail or prison, where an accused remain in custody till he gets bail or if convicted and sentenced to jail till the completion of sentence. As per law, ‘custody’ of a person begins when the police arrest him. It is well said by John Adams that; ‘Government is instituted for the comman good: for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people & Not for profit honor and private interest of any one Man, family or class of men’. Rajinder Singh, Law student from Jammu University.
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