New Delhi: Taking a serious view of
custodial violence by police, the Supreme Court has upheld the
five year sentence awarded to five police personnel for
killing a person in custody through electric shocks on his
"The Supreme Court as the custodian and protector of
the fundamental and basic human rights of the citizens, would
view with deep concern any allegation made against the police
officials about custodial crimes," a bench of justices B
Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar said in a judgement.
The bench upheld the conviction on the basis of the
post-mortem report even though the deceased`s family members
turned hostile due to apparent threats from the police
The apex court passed the judgement while dismissing
the appeal filed by the convicts-Anil Kumar Kushwaha, SHO,
Indar Police Station in Madhya Pradesh, Head Constables-Ram
Ujgar, Nathuram and constables Haricharan and Majid Hussain.
It was the case of the prosecution that the accused
police personnel subjected the victim Mathura to electric
shocks in the police station to extract confession in a theft
case. Mathura died on October 13, 1983.
The sessions court acquitted the police personnel, but
the Madhya Pradesh High Court on an appeal from the State
reversed the acquittal and awarded them five years
Aggrieved the convicts appealed in the apex court.
Rejecting the apeal, the apex court citing its earlier
judgement in the D K Basu case said, custodial violence
including rape, torture and death in the lock-up, strikes a
blow to the rule of law.
"In the present case we are dealing with the torture
of detenue, resulting in death. Using any form of torture for
extracting any kind of information, from a suspect was
declared to be `neither right, nor just, nor fair`. It was
specifically laid down that though a crime suspect must be
interrogated..indeed subjected to sustain and scientific
interrogation-determined in accordance with the provisions of
law, he cannot however, be tortured or subjected to third
degree methods," the bench said.
In the present case, the apex court said the medical
evidence clearly established that Mathura was subjected to
electric shocks in the scrotum.
"Such torture was inflicted on Mathura merely for the
purpose of extracting a confession that he was guilty of the
theft. Upon his release, the police personnel terrorized the
"This is evident from the fact that the widow, the son
and the brother of the deceased Mathura, all turned hostile,"
the bench said while dismissing the cops`s appeal.