Genesis Of Custodial Violence In India: A Critical Analysis

Chetanya Sharma, B.A.LLB, Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala, Punjab & Vikas Sharma, Centre For Converging Technologies, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur


The Police among common folks in Indian society is perceived as a powerful institution which generally runs on fear and force but this notion is altogether against the foundational principles of institution of police i.e fear in criminals and faith in common man. The power given to police is necessary in order to curb the menace of crime but as Voltaire said 'with great power comes greater responsibility’, this power must be exercised by respecting rule of law and human and fundamental rights of people. But the power has negative connotations also. In the words of Lord Acton 'power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’ it is imperative to note that today we are witnessing rampant violation of human rights and fundamental rights in the form of custodial violence and custodial deaths. Custodial violence should be interpreted in a wider sense to include dehumanizing torture, humiliation, physical violence and death. Recent case of custodial death of father-son duo in Tamilnadu shook the conscience of nation and has posed serious question about the credibility of law implication and criminal justice administration. National Human Rights Commission, Law Commission, Supreme Court has time and again recommended the government to make a special law on custodial violence. This paper tries to explain the physiology of this serious crime against humanity tracing through various judicial precedents and guidelines of apex court and tries to present a critical comparison between ‘is’ and ‘ought to be’ and idealism and reality of police brutalities tracing through various legal and constitutional provisions from Indian perspective.

Keywords: Custodial violence, Custodial deaths, Fundamental Rights, Human Rights

Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research

Abbreviation: IJLLR

ISSN: 2582-8878


Accessibility: Open Access

License: Creative Commons 4.0

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