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Principals laid down by the Honourable supreme court in the case of Shri D.K. Basu,Ashok K. Johri vs State Of West Bengal, State Of U.P on 18 December, 1996
In addition to the statutory and constitutional requirements to which we have made a reference, we are of the view that it would be useful and effective to structure appropriate machinery for contemporaneous recording and notification of all cases of arrest and detention to bring in transparency and accountability. It is desirable that the officer arresting a person should prepare a memo of his arrest on witness who may be a member of the family of the arrestee or a respectable person of the locality from where the arrest is made. The date and time of arrest shall be recorded in The memo which must also be counter signed by The arrestee.
We therefore, consider it appropriate to issue the following requirements to be followed in all cases of arrest or detention till legal provisions are made in that behalf as preventive measures :
(1) The police personnel carrying out the arrest and handling the interrogation of the arrestee should bear accurate, visible and clear identification and name togs with their designations. The particulars of all such police personnel who handle interrogation of the arrestee must be recorded in a register.
(2) That the police officer carrying out the arrest of the arrestee shall prepare a memo of arrest at the time of arrest a such memo shall be attested by atleast one witness. who may be either a member of the family of the arrestee or a respectable person of the locality from where the arrest is made. It shall also be counter signed by the arrestee and shall contain the time and date of arrest. (3) A person who has been arrested or detained and is being held in custody in a police station or interrogation centre or other lock-up, shall be entitled to have one friend or relative or other person known to him or having interest in his welfare being informed, as soon as practicable, that he has been arrested and is being detained at the particular place, unless the attesting witness of the memo of arrest is himself such a friend or a relative of the arrestee. (4) The time, place of arrest and venue of custody of an arrestee must be notified by the police where the next friend or relative of the arrestee lives outside the district or town through the legal Aid Organisation in the District and the police station of the area concerned telegraphically within a period of 8 to 12 hours after the arrest.
(5) The person arrested must be made aware of this right to have someone informed of his arrest or detention as soon he is put under arrest or is detained.
(6) An entry must be made in the diary at the place of detention regarding the arrest of the person which shall also disclose the name of he next friend of the person who has been informed of the arrest and the names and particulars of the police officials in whose custody the arrestee is. (7) The arrestee should, where he so requests, be also examined at the time of his arrest and major and minor injuries, if any present on his/her body, must be recorded at that time. The "Inspection Memo" must be signed both by the arrestee and the police officer effecting the arrest and its copy provided to the arrestee.
(8) The arrestee should be subjected to medical examination by trained doctor every 48 hours during his detention in custody by a doctor on the panel of approved doctors appointed by Director, Health Services of the concerned State or Union Territory. Director, Health Services should prepare such a penal for all Tehsils and Districts as well. (9) Copies of all the documents including the memo of arrest, referred to above, should be sent to the illaga Magistrate for his record.
(10) The arrestee may be permitted to meet his lawyer during interrogation, though not throughout the interrogation. (11) A police control room should be provided at all district and state headquarters, where information regarding the arrest and the place of custody of the arrestee shall be communicated by the officer causing the arrest, within 12 hours of effecting the arrest and at the police control room it should be displayed on a conspicuous notice board.
Failure to comply with the requirements hereinabove mentioned shall apart from rendering the concerned official liable for departmental action, also render his liable to be punished for contempt of court and the proceedings for contempt of court may be instituted in any High Court of the country, having territorial jurisdiction over the matter.
The requirements, referred to above flow from Articles 21 and 22 (1) of the Constitution and need to be strictly followed. These would apply with equal force to the other governmental agencies also to which a reference has been made earlier.
These requirements are in addition to the constitutional and statutory safeguards and do not detract from various other directions given by the courts from time to time in connection with the safeguarding of the rights and dignity of the arrestee.
The requirements mentioned above shall be forwarded to the Director General of Police and the Home Secretary of every State/Union Territory and it shall be their obligation to circulate the same to every police station under their charge and get the same notified at every police station at conspicuous place. It would also be useful and serve larger interest to broadcast the requirements on the All India Radio besides being shown on the National network of Doordarshan and by publishing and distributing pamphlets in the local language containing these requirements for information of the general public. Creating awareness about the rights of the arrestee would in out opinion be a step in the right direction to combat the evil of custodial crime and bring in transparency and accountability. It is hoped that these requirements would help to curb, if not totally eliminate, the use of questionable methods during interrogation and investigation leading to custodial commission of crimes.
PUNITIVE MEASURES UBI JUS IBI REMEDIUM - There is no wrong without a remedy. The law will that in every case where man is wronged and undamaged he must have a remedy. A mere declaration of invalidity of an action or finding of custodial violence or death in lock-up does not by itself provide any meaningful remedy to a person whose fundamental right to life has been infringed. Much more needs to be done.
In Public Interest by
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