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By Sajib Nandi
Reported by Livemint.com on Jul 26 2015
SC lays down guidelines to prevent custodial torture - Livemint
The Supreme Court on Friday laid down a set of nine guidelines to check and reduce custodial torture, or violence against prisoners/jail inmates.
To ensure compliance, a bench comprising justices T.S. Thakur and R. Banumathi asked all the state governments to compulsorily fill vacancies in their respective state human rights commissions (SHRC) within three months.
Future vacancies in the positions of chairperson or member of the SHRCs shall also be required to be filled within three months of the same happening.
Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland are required to set up SHRCs in their states within 6 months.
The court has directed state governments to set up human rights courts and take necessary action in that regard.
State governments also have a year’s time to install close circuit television (CCTV) cameras in their prisons. “CCTV cameras will help go a long way in preventing violation of human rights of those incarcerating in jails. It will also help the authorities in maintaining proper discipline among the inmates and taking corrective measures wherever abuses are noticed,” the court said in its verdict.
The court has also asked the states to identify police stations which are located in “sensitive areas prone to human rights violations” and install CCTV cameras there to protect jail inmates. The court has, in this manner, directed phased introduction of CCTV cameras in police stations. The judgment also lauds the efforts of certain states like Bihar and union territories like Andaman & Nicobar islands and Puducherry where such cameras exist.
States are also required to prosecute those people against whom an inquiry reveals guilt involved in the custodial death or injury.
At least two women constables are to be deployed in police stations.