Torture during interrogation and Investigation [2020]

Author: Anjali Mahajan
Content writer


According to a report by The Hindu dated month 2020, 5 custodial deaths happen in India each day. a complete of 1731 folks died in custody within the year 2019. Annual reports on torture in 2019 aforementioned 1606 deaths happened in judicial custody and a hundred twenty-five in police custody.

Torture strategies within the year 2019 enclosed hammer iron nails within the body, applying rollers on legs and burning, other strategies embody electrical shock, beating whereas handcuffed and prick body with needles, etc. but 1731 is that the solely the reportable information whereas a decent variety of such cases area unit buried deep from the reach and information of someone. so we have a tendency to even have those who area unit physically and mentally tortured and stay impaired for all times. No surprise underneath such circumstances common lots carries such a brutal image of the police and hold them therefore law.

Keyword: Torture during interrogation, torture by police in India, Provisions against torture by police in India,


Not abundant time has passed once a father-son pair within the state of Madras we have a tendency tore in remission for extraordinary the curfew limits throughout covid-19 imprisonment and as we all comprehend it they were viciously tortured within the custody and later died at the hands of these WHO take vows to shield every and each subject even with their own lives. we have a tendency to should additionally not have forgotten the suspicious encounter of ill-famed criminal Vikas Dubey.

These incidents area unit a mere reflection ancient long method of torture during interrogation on the suspects that is rife until nowadays. This additionally shows the US however the custodians of public safety will become perpetrators of grave injustice. Former SC decides V.R. avatar Iyer aforementioned and that I quote “custodial torture is worse than the act of terrorism because the authority behind it’s the State.”

In a huge democracy like Bharat wherever Rule of law lays the terrible foundation of our system and Right to life & liberty is taken into account to be the foremost necessary of all the on the market basic rights and once the constitution terribly meticulously articulated provisions against torture, It looks virtually self-contradictory that this brute sort of interrogation remains not simply prevailing however additionally flourishing.

Torture and Interrogation: 2 Sides of identical Coin

The world organization General Assembly in 1984 for the primary time adopted the convention against torture and outlined it as:

For the needs of this Convention, the term ‘torture’ suggests that,

Any act by that severe pain or suffering, whether or not physical or mental, is advisedly inflicted on an individual for such functions as getting from him or a 3rd person data or a confession, heavy him for Associate in the Nursing act he or a 3rd person has committed, or daunting or coercing him or a 3rd person, or for any reason supported discrimination of any kind, once such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official acting within the official capability doesn’t embody pain or suffering arising solely from, inherent in or accompanying lawful sanctions[i]

This is wherever the difficulty begins, this definition carries a good scope for its misuse because it permits for the lawful infliction of torture at the hands of the officers. Interrogation and torture, as totally different as these 2 words could sound however the rife and bitter truth is, they’re going along. Torture during interrogation is inflicted once a suspected person is forced to extort data or evidence. This force could aim its type and it includes blackmailing or threading for confession, to physical or mental assaults, and plenty of times it even results in the death of the suspect.

During interrogation physical and psychological torture techniques serves the aim of physical, psychological feature and emotional exhaustion within the detainee’s mind that is taken into account necessary for the aim of no-hit questioning of the potential supply of knowledge. Interrogation follows procedures and laws however in most countries like ours there’s an absence of transparency and data. the majority in the Bharat area unit dissatisfied with powerful interrogation, it happens once somebody is bereft of their can and compelled to act against themselves.

Any interrogation that coerces the captive and deprives them of their can probably enters the realm of tutelar torture. The police manual reflects the idea that interrogation and torture area unit 2 entirely totally different spheres however there lies a really skinny line of distinction as interrogation becomes torture as shortly as any sort of psychological or physical pain is inflicted upon the captive.

Policeman pulling the prisoner’s t-shirt during the interrogation.

Provisions against torture by police in India

Indian constitution provides sure basic rights to every and each subject of the country regardless of the very fact that they’re suspects or convicts. These rights area unit primarily set down in article nineteen, 20, 21, 22, 32, 226 of the constitution of Bharat. Besides these, there are a variety of rights on the market underneath different statutes like the Indian legal code, Criminal Procedure Code, and therefore the Indian proof act of 1861. As has been controlling by the SC during a superfluity of judgments that these rights area unit is therefore basic that they can not be withdrawn simply because the person is in police custody or maybe underneath arrest for that matter.

Article 20 of the constitution primarily offers an individual a sure set of rights against the conviction of misdemeanor. These varied rights include:

Article 20(1) prohibits any legislative authority in creating rules against ex post facto criminal laws. The universal declaration of human rights additionally recognizes this idea underneath article 11(2) of its charter.

Article 20(2) provides protection against prosecution at the side of this the final clauses act of 1897 additionally provides that if an Associate in Nursing offense is recognized underneath 2 totally different statues, the wrongdoer shall be at risk of being reproved solely underneath either of them and not each. moreover, Section three hundred of Criminal procedure code 1973 additionally recognizes identical rights to suspect.

Article 20(3) dispenses the proper against blame, that’s not everybody will be coerced to become a witness against oneself. this can be aforementioned to be the foundational principle of legal code that an individual should be plausible innocent and it’s for the prosecution to prove his guilt. this can be any recognized by International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights underneath article 14(3)(g). additionally, proof Act 1872 lays that no confession created by the suspect underneath police custody shall be allowable as a symptom in conviction.

These rights area unit thought-about therefore basic that they’re non-derogable even throughout an emergency.

Article 21 lays that each person has correctly to life and private Liberty tho’ this text doesn’t specifically lay provisions against tutelar torture however its compass on the account of being therefore huge is understood during a manner therefore on shield an individual against torture or the other sort of assault which can be degrading of basic human rights.

Article 22 of the constitution dispenses the subsequent rights to an individual detained in police custody.

Article 22(1) talks concerning the proper to be told of the bottom of Arrest as shortly incident takes place and therefore the Right of a suspicious person to Counsel so he could also be saved against any unlawful crime.

Article 22(2) gives-the right of speedy trial that makes it obligatory for the police to provide the captive in-front of the closest judge at intervals twenty-four hours of his arrest.

Prisoner being punished with cruel interrogation technique of waterboarding. Beside him is a bucket of water used in the controversial torture technique. The image depicts an illustrative editorial of the cruel political policy. The man’s identity is obscured.

Psychological Mishaps thanks to tutelar Torture

The physical wounds suffered by an individual could also be cured with time however the psychological torment that one must bear will be fatal because it results in varied psychological states and behavioral complexities. Anxiety attacks, panic attacks, depression area unit some quite common occurrences. however, what disrupts the flow of life is that post-traumatic stress disorder wherever an individual starts losing management over himself, and in sure cases, it’s additionally been discovered the person being tortured gets fascinated with violence and begin to exhibiting appetitively aggressive behavior.

In Raghubir Singh v. Haryana,[ii] the Supreme Court aforementioned, “We area unit deeply disturbed by the diabolical return of police torture leading to terrible scars within the minds of common voters that their lives and liberty area unit underneath a replacement peril as a result of the guardians of the law destroy human rights.”

In the case of Shanker Shukla v. Delhi Administration[iii], the Supreme Court at the side of recognizing the due would like of securing the captive from escaping declared that handcuffs area unit clear offensive, brute and degrading of basic human rights and it absolutely was additionally discovered that handcuffing is unfair and unfair on the part of the police. The honorable court then went on to issue some tips to be discovered whereas detaining an individual, which are:

  • Handcuffs ought to solely place once an individual is concerned in some non-bailable offense and additionally was guilty antecedently for a significant misdemeanor.
  • The captive is of desperate character, violent, unruly, or causes obstruction.
  • On being created before the judge Associate in Nursing inquiry should be created by him relating to the employment of ferrets on the captive.
  • In the case wherever police find it completely necessary to place handcuffs previous judicial permission should be obtained.

The Supreme Court during a variety of judgments time and once more has reiterated the very fact that handcuffs/ferrets and irons manifest of savagery that avers-us the universal aim of equality and control of human dignity and social justice.


As custodial torture is not any hidden development however we have a tendency to should additionally not flip a blind eye towards the challenges round-faced by Indian police within the course of dispensing their duty. the requirement of the hour calls upon the US to know and analyze these challenges and take a look at them to search out solutions to them. The complexities round-faced by Indian police ranges wide and much, a number of the distinguished problems are:

1. The inadequate strength of the desired task force and therefore the below-average operating conditions leave no area for the police to remain motivated for duty.

2. the fundamental pay of the department of local government to very low considering the tight necessities of their job that successively paves way for bribes within the system.

3. The all-mighty Associate in powerful politicians exercises an undue quantity of authority on the police for fast results that results in them performing arts their duties struggling and offers unsatisfactory leads to flip. additional over the lots show a really un-cooperative attitude with the polices that makes the total state of affairs additional difficult.

4. The police personnel works up to sixteen hours every day, seven days per week, they even work on national holidays, operating underneath such circumstances it’s not unlikely of them to not show sensitivity.

5. Our police system lacks needed scientific aids and temperament and therefore the ability coaching skills required for no-hit and cooperative interrogation and that they communicate interrogatory torture.

6. There ought to be a compulsory human rights course for the task force. coaching ought to incline at each level to handle lots.

7. The granting of immunity being enjoyed by the force ought to be abolished because it can keep them cautious of the severe consequences of inflicting torture upon the captive.

8. finally Indian government ought to formalize the international organization Convention against torture and different cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or penalization. that the govt. has wilfully did not formalize thinking our domestic laws area unit enough to shield detainees against such torture that terribly patently isn’t the case


Other References

[i] United Nations, Resolutions and Decisions adopted by the General Assembly during, First Part of its Thirty-ninth Session, pp. 381-82 (1985)

[ii] AIR 1980 SC1087

[iii] AIR 1980 SC 1535

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