New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre and states on a petition by human rights activist Suhas Chakma for the implementation of Section 176(1A) of the CrPC. According to the provision, it is mandatory to conduct judicial inquiry in cases of death, disappearance or alleged rape in police, judicial custody.
The plea said securing judicial inquiries into death or disappearance of a person or alleged rape in custody is indeed an uphill task and an insurmountable political battle, despite the law providing for mandatory judicial inquiries into such offences.
Chakma cited the “Crime in India” Annual Reports published by the National Crime Records Bureau under the Ministry of Home Affairs taht recorded death or disappearance of 1,303 persons in police custody comprising 827 persons not remanded to police custody by court and 476 persons remanded to police custody by courts from 2005 to 2017.
“Death or disappearance of persons not remanded to police custody by court is nothing but murder/killing of the defenceless citizens/persons who have appeared after being summoned by the police or already taken into custody,” said the plea.
The Section 176(1A) of the CrPC which provides that “where, (a) any person dies or disappears, or (b) rape is alleged to have been committed on any woman, while such person or woman is in the custody of the police or in any other custody authorised by the Magistrate or the Court, under this Code in addition to the inquiry or investigation held by the police, an inquiry shall be held by the Judicial Magistrate or the Metropolitan Magistrate, as the case may be, within whose local jurisdiction the offence has been committed.”