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Police Interrogation
  • By: Adv. Kishan Dutt Kalaskar
  • Date: 26 Apr 2020
  • Criminal
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Police interrogation is a part of the police investigation. When an accused is brought under the police custody either in cognizable offence or non-cognizable offence, the Police has the right to question the accused. It helps the Police to know about the essential facts and truths of the incident so that a case can be solved easily.

Rights during Police Interrogation

  • According to Section 161 (1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the accused is advised to not make any statement or answer any question which may prove that the accused is guilty of the offence.
  • The Police are not entitled to force the accused to make any sentence which later can be used as a piece of evidence against the accused.
  • Section 24 of the Indian Evidence Act and section 316 of the Code of Criminal Procedure states that Police cannot threaten or compel the accused to accept any crime which he/she has been accused of.
  • Under section 330 and section 331 of Indian Penal Code, if the Police injure the accused during police interrogation then the police officer is liable for punishment under the law.
  • A police officer has no right to torture, ill-treat or abuse the accused during interrogation or questioning round.
  • If an accused has any complaints regarding the interrogation, then he/she can register a complaint with Superintendent of Police (S.P.) or other higher officers like the Deputy Inspector General of Police (D.I.G.) or the Inspector General of Police (IG).
  • The accused also has the right to file a complaint with the magistrate in a court having jurisdiction.
  • A complaint can be sent to the Superintendent of Police (S.P.) by a registered post. If the S.P. is satisfied with the matter of the complaint, he/she shall investigate the case himself/herself or is likely to order an investigation to be made.
  • Complaints regarding Police interrogation are also registered by the State Human Right Commission or the National Human Rights Commission when law enforcement is not conducted by the Police or is done by the Police in a corrupt manner.

Duties during Police Interrogation

  • It is the duty of the accused to provide correct and accurate information or provide the information which is best known to him/her.
  • As per section 162(1) of Code of Criminal Procedure, It is not necessary to sign any statement given by the accused during the process of interrogation.
  • Section 26 of the Indian Evidence Act states that any statement to the Police by the accused cannot be held against him/her until the statement is made before the magistrate.
  • If the accused wants to confess about the offence he/she has committed, then the confession should be made in the presence of a magistrate. It becomes the duty of the magistrate to tell the accused that he/she should not confess to an offence under any pressure. If the accused makes a confession on his own, then the confession may be used against the accused as evidence. If the magistrate is not convinced that the accused is confessing on his own without any pressure, then the magistrate will not write the confessional statement.
  • It is advisable that no vague and unclear statements should be made by the accused.
  • The facts should not be exaggerated and only the incidents which occurred should be disclosed by the accused.

Is confession/statement valid when made to the Police?

The word “confession” was first used in Section 24 of the Indian Evidence Act. The whole section comes under the main heading of admission and therefore, it is referred that, confessions are just a part of admission. However, confession is not defined under the Act. According to the law of Evidence, the digest of Mr Justice Stephen, confession is defined as an admission made at anytime by a person who is charged with a crime stating or suggesting the interference that he/she has committed that crime. To constitute a confession as evidence it is important to understand the forms of confession. There are two types of confession:

  1. Judicial Confession
  2. Extra-Judicial Confession

Differentiate between Judicial Confession and Extra-Judicial Confession

Judicial Confession

Extra-Judicial Confession

  • Judicial confessions come under section 164 of Cr.P.C which are made in the presence of a magistrate or before the court during a trial or committal proceeding.
  • Extra-Judicial confessions are those confessions which are made before any person other than those authorised by the law to take confession. It may be made to any ordinary person or the investigator police.
  • To prove a judicial confession, the person to whom such confession is made need not be called as a witness.
  • To prove an extra-judicial confession, the person to whom the confession is made is called as a witness.
  • A judicial confession can be used as proof against the person to prove his/her guilt if such a confession is made voluntary and under no influence.
  • Extra-judicial confession alone cannot be treated as evidence. Such confessions are important to be supported by some other evidence.
  • A conviction can be based on Judicial confession.
  • It is unsafe and not legally correct to base conviction on such confesses.

According to Section 25 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, a confession made in front of the Police is not valid and cannot be used as evidence in the court of law. No confession made to the Police can prove the guilt of the accused in the court.

Reasons for such Exclusion

One of the primary reasons to not include the confessions made by the accused in the evidence is that there are instances where the Police torture the accused and thus force him/her to confess the crime he/she may have not committed. A confession obtained with the use of such means is unreliable, unethical and legally incorrect. It would further not be voluntary in nature. Such a confession would be invalid in the court whatever may be its form, direct, implied, or inferred from conduct. The reasons for which this policy was adopted when the act was passed in 1872 are probably still valid.

Dagdu Vs. State of Maharashtra

A.I.R. A.I.R. 1977 S.C. 1579

The judgement was given by the Supreme Court of India. In this case, the Supreme Court noted that the attempt of the Police to reach confessions by hook or by crook seems to be the end of all the police investigation. The Police should keep in mind that confession may not always be a short-cut to the solution. It is better that instead of trying to “start” from a confession they should investigate and strive to “arrive” at it. Otherwise, when they are busy with these short-cut solutions, good evidence may disappear due to no attention to the real clues. Once a confession is obtained, there is often flagging of zeal for a thorough and full investigation with a view to establish the case for the confession, later, being inadmissible for one reason or other, the case fondles in the court.

R V. Murugan Ramasay

(1964) 64 C.N.L.R. 265 (P.C.) at 268

In this case, the court noted that police authority itself, however, carefully controlled, carries a danger to those brought suddenly under its shadow and the law recognises and provides against the danger of such persons making incriminating confessions with the intention of placating authority and without regard to the truth of what they are saying.

Presence of Police

In circumstances, where a person is the secret agent of the Police deputed for the very purpose of receiving the confession, then such confession is subjected to fall under the category of confession made to the Police and thus is not valid in the court of law. However, the mere presence of Police does not make a confession invalid. If the confession is being given to someone else, and the policeman is casually present there who overhears the confession then it will not destroy the voluntary nature of the confession and can be considered as evidence in the court.

Under circumstances, where the accused has left a recording of his/her confession near the dead body of the victim and the recording is discovered by the Police, the Supreme Court held the recording to be relevant as there was not even the shadow of a policeman when the letter was being written and planted.

Conclusion

According to the cases and laws described above, a confession made to Police is invalid to be considered as a proof to prove the guilt of the accused under the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. A situation may arise, where a policeman knowingly, to take revenge, or to defame someone, records the wrong confession by using unfair and wrongs modes. Therefore, it is made clear by the law and as well as the court, that a confession can only be used as evidence if made before the presence of a magistrate or other evidence to support such a confession.

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Quashing of an FIR

By: admin Criminal 17 Feb 2020

Quashing means to abate, overthrow, or to dismiss it or to make it completely void. Generally, quashing of an FIR (first information report) in criminal proceedings means completely stopping the process of the legal proceedings that are in process. This step is usually taken after the FIR has already been filed but before the charge sheet is filed in the court of law. In certain cases, even after the charge sheet has been filed it can be revoked. However, it is generally not encouraged by the Supreme Court of India.

The Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) has laid down specific provisions for quashing of the FIR through section 482 in cases of criminal proceedings or such other cases that are decided upon by the discretionary powers of the court. The quashing of an FIR can also take place in matrimonial matters. The Criminal Procedure Code has also given powers to the high courts and Supreme Court of India with respect to the quashing of FIR in various matters.

Reasons for Quashing an FIR

A full bench comprising of the Hon'ble Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Hon'ble Justice A. M. Khanwilkar and Hon'ble Justice D Y Chandrachud has laid down certain principles from various precedents in relation to Section 482 of the CrPC for quashing of FIRs in the judgment passed in an appeal against a decision of the Gujarat High Court. The case in question was Parbatbhai Aahir & Ors. Vs. State of Gujarat & Another, this is further explained later in the article.

  1. In cases where allegations are made against the accused and are proved to be false in all aspects.
  2. If after investigation, the police department finds out that the evidence does not prove that a cognizable offence was committed.
  3. Whereupon investigation it comes to the notice of the police department that the allegation which was made in the FIR and the evidence that has been brought about does not match with the offences reported, and no case stands against the accused.
  4. Where the FIR filed is actually relates to a non- cognizable offence, then the investigation shall take place only after the magistrate gives an order for the same.
  5. The FIR can also be quashed in cases where no prudent man can understand the allegation made against the accused and the allegations cannot also be proved in the court of law.
  6. Where the FIR is filed and legal proceedings are carried out with the ulterior motive to take revenge from the accused with regards to a personal matter.
  7. In the cases where FIR is filed, and pieces of evidence are collected to support such FIR, but it doesn’t prove the guilt of the accused.
  8. Where an FIR do not constitute a cognizable offence, but a non-cognizable offence. In such cases, an FIR can be quashed under Section 155 (2) of the Cr.P.C.
  9. There are cases when an FIR is filed, but it so absurd that no conclusions can be drawn out. Under such circumstances with a proper procedure, an FIR can be quashed.
  10. The cases where the only reason to file the FIR is the malafide intention of the filing party.

Matters under which an FIR needs to be quashed can be only decided by the High Court of a state or the Supreme Court of India.

Powers of High Court in Quashing FIR

Below are certain powers of the High Court to deal with these matters:

  • Section 482 of the criminal procedure code states that a High Court can act in any manner in order to make the two ends meet.
  • The burden of proof lies on the petitioner that the FIR is lodged for malicious reasons and to trouble the petitioner
  • According to this section, a High Court can quash the FIR, if the court notices that the particular FIR is filed to defame the person and there no real reasons.
  • Writ petitions are filed in the High Court by the accused when he/she is charged with a non-compoundable offence.
Legal Framework
  1. Anand Kumar Mohatta and Anr VS state (Government of Delhi)

Order Dated: 15th November 2018

Summary of the Case: The Supreme Court held that in the case of property-related dispute the offence made was not understood by the court of law, and it could not also be justified whether the property belonged to the appellate or not. In the above case, many other factors were also taken into consideration before quashing the FIR, such as the contract that was carried out between the developer and the buyer. It also included the pending payment of the deposit by the buyer, even if the share of the developed property was yet to be allotted to the buyer.

In this case, the Supreme Court laid down principles regarding the applicability of section 406 of the Indian Penal Code.

Thus, in the above matter, the Supreme Court quashed the FIR which was filed and also the charge sheet, which was considered during the legal proceedings. In this case, the Supreme Court also enshrined that the powers under section 482 of the criminal procedure code can be exercised to prevent the abuse of process and miscarriage of justice. The powers under section 482 can also be exercised when a discharge application before a magistrate court is pending.

  1. Parbatbhai and Ors. Vs State of Gujrat and Anr

Order Dated: November 25TH 2016

Summary of the Case: In this case, the Gujarat high court had rejected the plea of quashing of the FIR of which an application was submitted by the applicant and wherein a case was registered under section384,467,471,120 (b) and 506(2) of the Indian Penal Code. The opposition regarding the quashing of the FIR was on two grounds. They were as follows:

  1. The warrants had already been issued against the applicant under section 70 of CrPC.
  2. The applicants had a prior criminal record and were culprits of crime previously.

Therefore, on these two grounds, the high court rejected the application for quashing of the FIR.

Thus, the Supreme Court has laid down various principles for grounds of rejecting or accepting an application under section 482 of the criminal procedure code for quashing an FIR:

  1. To secure the powers of the court of law, to try to avoid the misuse of powers, and if someone tries to abuse the due process of law in any way or cheat with the court of law.
  2. The quashing of the FIR in criminal proceedings or any other matter should purely depend on the facts and circumstances of the case and whether the disputes have been settled with mutual consent or not.
  3. In cases where the public interest lies, the quashing of the FIR does not always take place, and thus, it should only be done at the discretion of the court.
  4. Cases which are civil in nature, the criteria for quashing of an FIR is entirely different when compared with criminal cases.
  5. Criminal cases with the combination of civil cases have higher chances that their application in regards to the quashing of the FIR might get accepted by the court of law. For example, cases related to mercantile law, finance law has the probability that their application is not rejected.

Thus, in this case, the Supreme Court has agreed and upheld the decision of the Gujarat High Court in rejecting the application for quashing the FIR while exercising power vested by the High Court.

  1. Narendra Singh and Ors. Vs State of Punjab and Anr.

Order Dated: November 8th2013

Summary of the Case: The high court of Punjab and Haryana located at Chandigarh rejected the quashing of the FIR on the basis that the accused had caused injury to the other party which was quite severe and therefore, the High Court also refused to take into consideration the comprises made by mutual consent of both the parties. And, also they will have to face legal proceedings.

However, the Supreme Court stated that the High Court has merely passed the order on the ground of the nature of the injury that has been caused to the victim. It should also be noted that not only the severity of the injury caused but also the facts and circumstances of the case are equally important. The Court has dully gone through the FIR as well as the statement which has been registered by the victim. It has come into the notice that the injury was caused due to the dispute of some previous fight between the parties. The evidences are yet to be produced in the court of law and also that the examination is yet to be conducted by the medical officer. However, the court said that it might be difficult to prove who has caused the injury. Thus, it was held that the chances of a case against the accused are very bleak.

And thus, rejecting the order of the lower court, the Supreme Court of India ordered that the FIR should be quashed with immediate effect and no further appeal shall be allowed.

Conclusion

In view of the above points as laid by the Supreme Court, it has been held that the High Court while exercising its power under Section 482, it is the duty of the court to take into consideration and have due regard to the nature and gravity of the Offence.

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Hostile Witness

By: admin Criminal 12 Feb 2020

The hostile person is a witness who is unfriendly to the party who called them to ask the leading questions. They are always unwilling, to tell the truth. A hostile witness is a person ready to argue or fight very aggressively.

During a trial, when the counsel of prosecution calls a person to witness in his favour and that person contradict to his previous statement recorded during the investigation, it is said that the witness is hostile.

A hostile witness testifies for a witness who offers adverse testimony to the party who has called him as a witness during direct examination. The right to declare a person as a hostile is to the Judge on the examiner's request.

The term hostile witness arose in case Sat Pal vs Delhi Administration Supreme Court. It is not defined precisely in Indian Law.

 

Process For Hostile Witness

The Attorneys has trust in the witness called by them to testify in favour of the party. However, a witness may turn hostile and demolish the purpose of advocate and the party both. However, in such a case, the attorney requests the Judge to declare the witness as a hostile. Then he can cross-examine the witness to get a testimony more favourable for his case. In practice, when the Attorney gets the approval from the Judge for treating a witness as a hostile witness, he could usually get the freedom to question the witness. Hence, at the time of evidence, if the witness opposed to the calling party, it is open to being condemned as the conduct of witness is highly irresponsible and reprehensible.

Thus, when it is suspected that the witness can become adverse to the party who called him, the attorney calling can testify him by using the method of cross-examination to reveal the witnesses. The witness can turn hostile either in the case of defence or prosecution.  In the criminal case, the conviction of the guilty person develops the sincerity and devotion among the public.

 

Legal Provisions

As per Section 154 of the Indian Evidence Act, the Court in its discretion, permit the person who calls a witness to put a question to him which might be put in cross-examination by the adverse party.

Section 193 of Indian Penal Code,1860 states that the person who intentionally gives false evidence in the stage of a judicial proceeding would be liable for punishment with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend for seven years and shall be liable to fine.

Section 196 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 states that the person who corruptly attempts to use as valid evidence which he is aware of being false shall be punished in the same manner as he gave the false evidence.

Section 199 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 states that if a person bound by the law receives any evidence and makes a false statement, which is false in nature and such statement touches upon any material or a specific point, should be punishable in the same manner as if he gave false evidence.

 

The Jessica Lal case

Sidhartha Vashisht @ Manu Sharma Vs. State (NCT of Delhi)

In this case, the 80 witnesses had turned hostile before the Court. Jessica Lal was a model working in an unlicensed bar at Delhi. By midnight, the bar ran out of liquor, and she refused to serve Manu Sharma, who was accompanied by his three friends. Sharma produced a pistol and fired it twice, the first bullet hit the ceiling whereas the second hit the Lal in the head and killed her. After a few days, Khanna, Gill and Sharma were arrested. The murder weapon was not recovered.

A key witness to this case was the person named Munshi. At the time of reading of the FIR, he said that the statement given to the police was recorded in Hindi while he narrated the whole story in English whereas he stated in his previous statement that he saw a total of 2 guns on the murder night. However, he changed his statement and told that he saw two gentlemen at the bar counter and not the gun.

 

Reasons For Hostile Witness

The reasons to turn the witness as hostile are as follows:

  • Protection of Witness
  • Lengthy trials.
  • Absence of adequate facilities for the witness by the Court.
  • Use of the power and money by the accused.
  • The threat to the Witness.
  • Other factors like political fear, police fear, fear of the legal system, etc.
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Warrant and its Types

By: admin Criminal 20 Sep 2019

What is a Warrant?

It is a written order issued by a judicial officer or other authorized person commanding a law enforcement officer to perform some incident or act to the administration of justice. Warrants are recognized differently as per the variety of purposes in the law. The person who ignores the appearance in court is also brought by issuing the Warrant. Mostly, police use warrants as the basis to arrest a suspect and to conduct a search of property for evidence of a crime.

Types of Warrants in India

There are three main types of criminal warrants;
 
Arrest Warrant: An arrest warrant is a warrant issued on behalf of the state by a magistrate or judge, which authorises the arrest and detention of an individual, or the search and seizure of an individual's property. Arrest Warrant includes a bailable arrest warrant and a non- bailable arrest warrant.

  1. Bailable Arrest Warrant -  Warrant to be executed by a policeman, but after the execution, the person arrested can be released by providing a bail which can be bond or cash as per the warrant.
  2. Non Bailable warrant - Warrant, where arresting or executing police officer, cannot do anything but remand the accused to police station and produce the accused before a magistrate who issued the warrant who will then either recall the warrant with fine or send the accused to judicial custody and order the accused to go to court and apply for regular bail.

 Essentials of Arrest Warrant:
  1. The Warrant must mention the name and other particulars of the person to be arrested.
  2. Every Arrest Warrant shall be in writing, as per section 70(1).
  3. It is to be signed by the presiding officer of the court and must have the seal of the court.
  4. It must show the person whom the authority to arrest has been given.
  5. A magistrate may direct a warrant to any person within his jurisdiction for the arrest of any person accused of a non- bailable offence and is evading his arrest. If a person who is arrested under the warrant executes a bond and gives the security for the attendance in court, he shall be released at the discretion of the court.

Bench Warrant: The arrest warrant that is ordered by a judge against the defendant in a criminal case or any similar proceedings is known as a bench warrant. A bench warrant is issued when one fails to appear before the court. The term "bench" is derived from the traditional meaning for the judge's seat.

In severe criminal cases, a failure to appear will most likely lead to a "regular" arrest warrant, which would drive immediate attempts to locate and detain the defendant or an accused. A bench warrant does not mean that the police will be at the door of the defendant the next morning. However, the name of the defendant will be circulated into a statewide computer system that usually serves the entire law enforcement centre. Once the name comes in the database, and an individual has to deal with the police for any reason – even from an incident that was not his fault, such as someone hitting the car from behind – individual will be taken into custody for the outstanding bench warrant.

Difference between Bench Warrant and Arrest Warrant

Arrest Warrant: Generally, the police are supposed to obtain an arrest warrant, issued by a judge based on probable cause, before taking an individual into custody. There are, however, exceptions to this general rule that allows police to conduct warrantless arrests.

Bench Warrant: A judge issues a bench warrant when an individual fails to appear in court. It is not at the request of the police. It is based on the court's jurisdiction over individuals to require their appearance in court.

Search Warrant: It is an order issued by magistrate or judge to authorize law officers to search for a person, his vehicle or location, to get evidence for a crime and to seize any evidence if found. In some countries, a search warrant cannot be issued in the civil proceedings.

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Need to amend CrPC and IPC to increase the conviction rate.

By: admin Criminal 29 Aug 2019

Indian Criminal system has a serious backlog on pending investigations and trials. This shows that the crises are becoming more severe with each passing year. The conviction rate in criminal cases is pitiful as stated by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah while addressing the 49th Raising Day Event of the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD). The level of success depends upon the level of evidence required for conviction. He addressed the age-old police techniques like ministering third degree, and the typical process of phone tapping will not help yield the desired results to curb the crime rate.
 
Suggestion for the Bureau of Police Research and Development

The Union Home Minister has suggested the following steps to improve the rate of conviction substantially:

  1. He indicated that the rate of conviction could be corrected when supported by forensic evidence.
  2. Shah suggested BPRD prepare a blueprint for the creation of modus operandi bureaus at the state and national level.
  3. Bureau will study the technique of crime and the mentality of criminal, and this will help to reduce criminal activities.
  4. They will prepare and suggest better working policies and technology solutions for the police forces
 
Forensic Science Laboratories (FSL):

FSLs are government laboratories equipped and charged to deal in the scientific examination of circumstantial evidence such as examination of poisons, blood, and physical.FSL reports are the reports suggested by the government laboratories in almost all criminal cases. The FSL report given to the court is the final phase in Conviction.

Usage of improvised FSL for increasing the conviction rate:

The use of forensic evidence is the need of the hour for police investigators to clinch convictions against criminals.
The government is revolving to make forensic evidence compulsory in all criminal cases where the quantum of punishment is seven years or more. The usage of FSL should be encouraged and made compulsory under law.
 
Consequences of improvising tools for Forensic evidence:

The Union Home Minister suggests that if charge sheet is supported by forensic evidence, then there will be no more options before the judge and the defence lawyers.  He added that automatically the conviction rate would be improvised. 
Police and national forensic science university will be created at the national level along with college affiliates for students who are willing to pursue a career in police or CAPFs. The ambit of forensic based investigations will be widened. 
 
Upcoming reformations:

As there are no changes in CrPC and IPC for a long time, the suggestions and recommendations of the BPRD will initiate a process for effective changes in CrPC and IPC the primary laws governing the criminal offences in India.

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Intervention of SC in the Unnao Rape Case

By: admin Criminal 02 Aug 2019

This case is about the Unnao rape case survivor, who has been fighting her battle since 17th June 2017.  The horrific rape of a 17-year-old was allegedly orchestrated by a Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) MLA - Kuldeep Singh Sengar. 

The facts of the case are as follows:

  1. The victim was gang-raped by the BJP leader and his acquaintances on 17th June 2017, when she went to his house on the promise that they will help her to get a job.
  2. When the girl did not return home, the family of the girl filed a missing complaint.
  3. She was found on 20th June 2017 where a case was registered for ‘kidnapping’ and ’kidnapping a woman to compel her for marriage’ under the appropriate provisions of the IPC. However, the registered case did not mention the name of the accused MLA. Allegedly, the accused and her family were thrown out of the police station when they named the accused.
  4. The local police were highly influenced by the Sengar family and hence despite several attempts made by the victim to get her case registered against the accused. For this purpose, she repeatedly wrote letters to the chief minister and the senior police officers of the state.
  5. The victim’s mother finally approached the Chief Judicial Magistrate to lodge an FIR against the MLA. In showcasing proof of the poor judicial system of our country, the victim and her family started receiving death threats instead of availing protection.
  6. Meanwhile, the victim’s father was seriously beaten up by the MLA’s brother. However, on 4th April 2018, he was the one who was arrested and not the brother of the MLA.
  7. Amidst all of this, the victim threatened to kill herself in front of Yogi Adityanath’s residence in Lucknow as she was trying to file a complaint since a year but had no assistance from the local police and leaders.
  8. On 9th April 2018, the victim’s father dies in police custody due to multiple injuries. 
  9. Finally, the MLA’s brother is arrested for thrashing the victim’s father.
  10. After several attempts, Adityanath’s government woke up from their slumber and ordered an investigation into the rape case and her father’s custodial death. Consequently, a case is registered against the MLA.
  11. The Uttar Pradesh government transfers the investigation to the CBI, on questioning the local police as to why the MLA was not arrested; the State’s police chief questioned back that why should the MLA be arrested if his name is now mentioned in the FIR.
  12. After a year-long battle, the CBI arrests the MLA along with Shashi Singh, the woman who allegedly took the victim to the MLA and stood guard outside the door as he raped her.
  13. In a bizarre turn of events, the residents of Unnao carried out a rally in support of the MLA, stating that this was all a part of a political conspiracy.
  14. CBI filed a charge sheet against the MLA and 9 other accused, and an investigation was held in the murder of the key witness in the victim’s father’s murder. 
  15. The family of the victim is continuously harassed by the accused. On 4th July 2019, the survivor’s uncle is sentenced to ten years in jail for a two-decade-old attempt to murder case filed by the MLA’s brother.
  16. On 28th July 2019, The survivor’s car is hit by a truck whose registration plate is scrubbed out. The woman’s two aunts succumb to their injuries. She and her lawyer, Mahendra Singh, are in a critical condition.
  17. Finally, the plea of the victim is heard by the CJI, and the Supreme Court transferred the trial of this case along with the above accident case to Delhi, from the CBI court in Lucknow. 
  18. The Supreme Court ordered the lower court to complete the hearing in 45 days from the date of submission and to hold a day-to-day hearing considering the urgency of the matter.
  19. Court ordered an interim compensation of Rs 25 lakh to the rape victim, who is battling for her life.

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Prison Reforms in India

By: admin Criminal 30 Jul 2019

The institution where a person convicted of criminal offence is detained by punishment is known as prison.  Prison and Asylums Reform are the institutions who attempt to develop the prison conditions, establish a more effective penal system, or implement alternatives to restraint.  Prisoners' daily movements and their compliance with routines are strictly enforced. The purpose of restrictions on inmate freedom within the institution is said to be the maintenance of security. Prisons are used as the primary punishment for criminal acts in the last few centuries. The State Government usually takes part in the modernization of the prison. The Ministry of Home Affairs also enlarges their hand to support the States in implementing the project of E- prisons project that intends to introduce efficiency in prison management through digitization.

The E-prisons project helps the Prisoner Information Management system (PIMS), which is developed by National Informatics Centre, to give a centralized approach for managing the prisoner information and generating records by maintaining the reports. The PIMS keep the record of necessary details of prisoner, his family details, biometrics, photographs, case history, medical information, etc.  The availability of these details on an electronic platform is useful to track the status of prisoners and for the smooth functioning of the prison system. In order to examine the conditions of prisons and prisoners in the country, the government constitutes several panels and the committees.

Reasons for promoting Prison reforms:

  1. The punishment of life imprisonment deprives the right of liberty of that person. 
  2. Imprisonment or detention affects the prisoner and his family. 
  3. When the prisoner is the sole breadwinner, the whole family bears the financial loss.
  4. Some prisoners have serious health implications as they suffer from various diseases after entering prison.
  5. All the prisons are overcrowded.

Major issues of Prisons:

The share of the prisoners who are awaiting trails is constantly increasing due to the pendency of cases, which leads to overcrowding, whereas it is seen that crowding leads to unsatisfactory living conditions. Prisoners are subjected to inhuman physical and psychological torture, sexual abuse, extortion by prison staff, custodial deaths due to extreme pain.

Measures initiated by Government

1. Modernization of prisons Scheme: The scheme for modernization of prisons was launched to improve the conditions of the detention. It includes the construction of new jails, repair, and renovation of jails, improvement in sanitation and water supply, etc.

2. National Legal Services Authority: They have launched a web application recently to facilitate the under trial prisoners with free legal services. The objective of the above application is to make the legal services system more transparent and useful.   

3. Draft National Policy for Prison Reforms: It includes an amendment in the constitution to incorporate principles of prison management along with the enactment of uniform and comprehensive law on matters relating to prisons.
 
Measures to be initiated by the Government:

  1.  The government should enact the comprehensive and uniform law on prison reforms. 
  2.  A Department of Correctional Services and prisons.
  3. The state shall provide community service, forfeiture of property, payment of compensation to victims, as an alternative to prisons.
  4. The living condition shall be improved in every prison and allied institution. 
  5. The issue of overcrowded jails requires immediate attention. Every possible effort shall be made to improve the conditions of prison that includes better sanitation and hygiene, adequate food and clothing.
  6. Appropriate rehabilitation and Correctional treatment shall be made to reform offenders. 
  7. Initiatives shall be taken to grant vocational training to prisoners and ensure rehabilitation and social formation after release.
  8. The government must take the initiative to improve the conditions of under-trial prisoners, which can be achieved by speeding of the trial procedure, simplification of the bail procedure, and providing effective legal aid.
  9. It is also essential to address the issue of inadequate prison management by recruiting more prison staff, imparting proper training and undertaking modernization of prisons.
  10. Issues related to custodial violence and sexual abuse should be dealt with effective monitoring and severe punishments of those involved in such violence.
  11. The concept of a correctional facility such as an open prison should be encouraged

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Adultery Law In India

By: admin Criminal 24 Apr 2019

In India, adultery is not a crime anymore, though it can be a ground for divorce. The Supreme Court said that a 158-year law that punishes a man for an affair but not the woman, treating her as her husband's property. "It's time to say the husband is not the master of the woman," said a five-judge constitution bench, unanimously sticking up for gender justice and calling out the Victorian adultery law as arbitrary.

Section 497 of the IPC was a section dealing with adultery. The law observed that a woman could is not punishable for the offence of adultery. Only a man who commits consensual sexual intercourse with the wife of the other man without the consent of her husband is punishable under this offence in India. If an individual "lives in adultery", the partner can file for divorce. The Supreme Court of India defended the law on 27 September 2018. The SC acknowledged the law as unconstitutional because it "treats a husband as the master of his wife".

Section 497 says that:- Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the crime of adultery.

Moreover, he shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. In such a case, the wife shall [not] be punishable as an abettor.

On 27th September, a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court struck down Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and decriminalized adultery in India (it remains a "civil offence", as it can be a ground for divorce. The judgment is significant not because it got rid of a patriarchal law, but also because of its consequences that may arise in future.

All five Supreme Court judges hearing the case said the law was archaic, arbitrary and unconstitutional.

Chief Justice Misra said that "Husband is not the master of a wife. Women should be treated with equality along with men,".

Judge Rohinton Nariman said that "ancient notions of a man being perpetrator and woman being a victim no longer hold good".

Justice DY Chandrachud said the law "perpetuates the subordinate status of women, denies dignity, sexual autonomy, is based on gender stereotypes".He further said the law sought to "control sexuality of woman (and) hits the autonomy and dignity of a woman".

The judgment of the Supreme Court is essential, however, for the further indications it may have. All the judges were very clear that a woman has the right to bodily integrity, choice and personal liberty not just against the State, but also within the context of home and the family. It gives a call to a question that a number of our laws has actively denied these rights. The decriminalization of adultery may have a current effect that goes beyond its immediate context and serves as a springboard for greater freedom, equality, and independence within what is commonly understood to be the private sphere.

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