Call for guidelines to prevent custodial torture and death

People’s Watch, a Madurai-based Human Rights Organisation, has condemned the death of under trial Selvamurugan in Cuddalore district and has alleged that it is a case of custodial death. The CB-CID took over the investigation in the case recently.

Welcoming the decision to hand over the probe to the CB-CID, the People’s Watch urged the State government to come out with adequate guidelines to avoid such cases of custodial violence, as directed by the High Court in the Sattankulam custodial deaths case.

Guidelines have to be issued with regard to the monitoring of CCTV cameras, standards to be adhered to by medical professionals before reporting an accused to be medically fit for remand and standards to be followed during autopsy in cases of custodial deaths.

There have been serious discrepancies with regard to the actions of Judicial Magistrates at the time of remand of accused. Cases of police torture and illegal detention in the State have increased in the recent past which is a clear indication of total lack of supervision in all such matters by the Superintendents of Police and Commissioners of Police.

The DGP must direct the chief of the Police Intelligence Wing in the State to ensure that the District and the State intelligence wings of the police are instructed to alert the ADGP (Social Justice and Human Rights) in such cases of alleged illegal detention.

Tamil Nadu has a well-established Legal Services Authority functioning at State, district and taluk levels. They should be mandated to depute a team of lawyers with experience to undertake a fact-finding exercise whenever such incidents occur.

Selvamurugan of Kadampuliyur near Neyveli was booked by the police in a theft case on October 30 and remanded in judicial custody in Viruddhachalam sub-jail. The under trial suffered seizures on November 2 and was taken to the Viruddhachalam Government Hospital for treatment.

He suffered seizures again on November 4 and was taken to the GH where he died. The family members of Selvamurugan have alleged that the undertrial died as a result of custodial torture.

Source: Read Full Article