Threat to human rights is highest in police stations: CJI

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Source: Indian Express, The Hindu and Times of India

What is the News?

The Chief Justice of India while addressing an event organised by National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) has said, “the threat to human rights and bodily integrity are the highest in police stations”. He also observed that Custodial violence and other police atrocities are problems that still prevail in our society.

What is Custodial Violence?
  • Custodial violence primarily refers to violence in police and judicial custody. It includes death, rape and torture.
  • Between 2001 and 2018, 1,727 persons died in police custody. This includes both persons on police/ judicial remand and those just arrested and not produced before the court. Only 26 policemen were convicted in this period for such deaths.
  • Except in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha, no policeman was convicted for such deaths across the country.
Reasons for Custodial Violence:
  • Lack of Legal representation: Lack of effective legal representation at police stations is a huge detriment to arrested or detained persons. 
  • Lengthy Judicial Process: Lengthy and expensive judicial processes dissuade the poor and the vulnerable from accessing the justice system.
  • Digital Divide: The digital divide has not helped the cause of easy access to justice. Rural and remote areas suffer from a lack of connectivity.
Other Facts Mentioned in the Article:

About Access to Justice for Marginalized People or the A2J Project:

  • Access to Justice Project is a collaborative effort between the UNDP and Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India.
  • Aim: The project focuses on strengthening access to justice for the poor by developing strategies that address barriers to accessing justice in legal, social, economic and political domains.

Terms to know

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