Threat to Human Rights, Bodily Integrity Highest at Police Stations: CJI Ramana
"Custodial torture and other police atrocities are problems that still prevail in our society," CJI NV Ramana noted.
Asserting that human rights and dignity are "sancrosanct," Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana, on Sunday, 8 August, raised concerns regarding custodial torture and violations of human rights at police stations.
Delivering the keynote address at an event organised by the National Legal Services Authority of India (NALSA), CJI Ramana said:
“The threat to human rights and bodily integrity are the highest in police stations. Custodial torture and other police atrocities are problems that still prevail in our society."
The CJI observed that while there are Constitutional safeguards in place, the lack of legal representation at police stations furthers the peril experienced by arrested persons.
"Going by the recent reports even the privileged are not spared third-degree treatment,” he said, The Indian Express reported.
CJI Ramana, calling upon NALSA to conduct nationwide sensitisation of police officers, proposed certain measures to mitigate the breaches.
“To keep police excesses in check, dissemination of information about the constitutional right to legal aid and availability of free legal aid services is necessary. The installation of display boards and outdoor hoardings in every police station/prison is a step in this direction," he said, IE reported.
'Socio-Economic Diversity Not a Reason for Denial of Rights': CJI Ramana
In his speech delivered at the NALSA event for the launch of the legal body's mobile app and vision statement, the CJI emphasised on the necessity to ensure legal help for all sections of the society.
"If we want to remain as a society governed by the rule of law, it is imperative for us to bridge the gap of accessibility to justice between the highly privileged and the most vulnerable. For all times to come, we must remember that, the realities of socio-economic diversity that prevail in our nation, cannot ever be a reason for denial of rights."CJI Ramana stated, LiveLaw reported.
"If, as an institution, the judiciary wants to garner the faith of the citizens, we have to make everyone feel assured that we exist for them. For the longest time, the vulnerable population has lived outside the system of justice," he added.
The CJI's comments on the infringements of human rights come days after he had registered his disapproval over the increasing harassment suffered by the judiciary.
'CBI, IB Don't Help At All': CJI on Threats to Judiciary
The Supreme Court on Friday, 6 August, articulated its disapproval over the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)'s inadequate action in the past over complaints regarding the harassment of judges.
The apex court, which was hearing a case on the suspected murder of a Jharkhand judge, observed judges had been assaulted physically as well as mentally on numerous occasions in the past.
"In one or two places, courts ordered CBI inquiry. It is sad to say that CBI has done nothing. We expected some change in CBI's attitude. But there has been no change. We are sorry to observe that," Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana told Attorney General of India KK Venugopal, LiveLaw reported.
Justice Ramana further stated that there was a new trend of maligning the judiciary if an unfavorable order is passed.
"It is a new trend in this country. If an adverse order is passed, then judiciary is maligned. Even though judges complaint, there is no response. CBI, IB etc aren't helping judiciary at all," the CJI was quoted as saying by LiveLaw.
(With inputs from The Indian Express and LiveLaw)
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