SC upholds conviction of cops for giving electric shocks
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Last Updated: Thursday, March 10, 2011, 22:22
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 scrotum.

"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 personnel.

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 imprisonment.

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 entire family.

"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.


First Published: Thursday, March 10, 2011, 22:22

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