Context and Details:

  • The police play a major role in the administration of criminal justice.
  • One of the reasons for custodial death is that the police feel that they have a power to manipulate evidence as the investigation is their prerogative and with such manipulated evidence, they can bury the truth
  • Custodial deaths have been on the increase in recent years.
  • They increased by 9% from 92 in 2016 to 100 in 2017, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.
  • Since policemen responsible for custodial deaths rarely get punished, they feel emboldened to continue using torture as the tool to get to the truth
  • The Supreme Court delivered a historic order in 2006 on police reforms.
  • It stated, among other things, that every State should have a Police Complaints Authority where any citizen can lodge a complaint against policemen for any act of misdemeanor.
  • However, only a few States such as Kerala, Jharkhand, Haryana, Punjab and Maharashtra have implemented the order.
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