A few days back we witnessed a movement in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh regarding the encounter of Gangster Vikas Dubey. And the encounter of Dr. Priyanka Reddy’s convicted who were killed in an encounter by the police in his custody. People started voicing their opinions about police reforms, anti-torture law, and many other things that need to be changed in police administration. India has a big way to go in this field. According to a report by the National Crime Bureau, between 2001-2018, there have been 1787 reported custodial deaths and out of custodial deaths, only a mere 26 police personals have been convicted. Between the same period 1780 human rights violation against the police out of which only 36 have reached the level of conviction rate in cases of custodial deaths and torture also.

Police Reform

Here in this article, I will be writing about custodial torture and the steps taken to reduce or stop these types of activity and to reform the police administration.

Custodial Torture: A form of torture that generally happens when a person alleged of any crime is under the custody of law officers. Supreme Court has held that custodial torture is naked violation of human dignity and embarrassed which destroys, to a very large extent human personality which is very large extent human personality which is very harmful for our society and also a negative empact in our society. Custodial torture is a punishable offences under the law. Enacting a law is not important. Most imp. thing to implementation of law. Indian Constitution has granted the rights to every person under the fundamental rights 

enshrined under Art. 21 Right to Life and also Art. 22, rights are available for people who are being arrested and detained.

 Reasons and steps to be taken to completely curb the custodial torture: 

1. Strict implementation of existing laws and guidelines: Governments have again and again have said that existing laws are enough, even I am of the same view just a few exceptions:

a. change in the Evidence Act, where the burden of proof still lies on the Plaintiff, this needs to be redressed.

b. The main thing is the existing laws are more than implemented in the right manner.

At present, existing laws include judgements of the Supreme Court laying down guidelines, Police Act 1861 and sections of IPC and CrPC. 

Supreme Court deliver his guideline firstly the case Joginder kr. State of U.P.(1994) and later on D.K Bose v state of West Bengal 1997 is followed on the manner in which it has been prescribed these would be no need for new laws.

In these cases the court guidelines laid down rules relating to detention, arrests and rights of the persons and police stations, setting up a state human rights commission which will later the prisoners and under trials.

2. Role of media and People’s mindset: Media plays a very important role. Some people questioned the media to the legal fraternity and even by then court’s also. The media have to understand its responsibility. It affects the mindset of the public. Whenever we see person being beaten by police, we ignore that and our understanding regards that beating is that the person can do wrong something. It’s only cases in cases like the death of the father son due come up in news then we show our anger questions.

3. Pressure by the Public, Senior officials and Government: Here, a large amount of unwarranted pressure is being created on police officers working at lower posts by the senior officers and government to solve a case and this unwarranted pressure makes officers use the way of torture to extract out truth or confession. Prakash singh vs UOI 2006. SC directed to state and central govt. to ensure that no unwarranted pressure is created on police.


Police are the protectors of the citizens of the country as our society go towards the progress and development. They are indisputable necessity to maintain the law and order of our society, but when such outfits of justice themselves away from violating the public’s fundamental rights, the authority given to promote such justice is annulled. The law is a continuous and omnipotent process and system which is permanent, yet always changes according to the needs and progress of the society..


Anant Pathak

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