PIL alleges custodial violence by police, Andhra HC sends notices to DGP, Chief Secretary

The PIL was filed by Kakumanu Lalith Kumar, founder of the Hindu Jana Shakti Welfare, against the alleged custodial violence in violation of Sections 57 and 54 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Published: 11th November 2021 08:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th November 2021 08:17 AM   |  A+A-

Andhra Pradesh High Court.

Andhra Pradesh High Court.

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday, November 10, 2021, issued notices to the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police (DGP) to file their counters within two weeks in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking the court’s directions to the police to comply with the guidelines prescribed under the CrPC. The PIL was filed by Kakumanu Lalith Kumar, founder of the Hindu Jana Shakti Welfare, against the alleged custodial violence in violation of the Sections 57 and 54 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Petitioner’s counsel Umesh Chandra PVG submitted before the court that the police officers in the State were not following Sections 54 and 57 of the CrPC in letter and spirit. In the guise of investigation, the police were indulging in custodial violence, he added. This year there were three reported incidents of custodial violence in AP and these three instances were merely illustrative in nature and there were many such incidents in the State, he argued.

He informed the court that under Section 57 of Criminal Procedure Code, the police have a three-fold objective to fulfil within 24 hours of the arrest of the accused — producing the accused before a medical practitioner under Section 54 of CrPC soon after the arrest; conducting preliminary investigation into the matter and producing the accused before the magistrate concerned. The police, however, in violation of Section 54, have been taking the accused directly to the police station instead of producing him before a medical practitioner. Chandra said Section 54 has been amended through Act 5 of 2009 with an intention to curtail custodial violence and therefore any attempt made by the police to overlook Section 54 would defeat the very purpose of the amendment.

Referring to the guidelines prescribed by the Supreme Court in DK Basu Vs State of West Bengal, where the amendment to Section 54 of CrPC was made, Chandra told the court that any violation of the Section would amount to the violation of the judgment of the apex court of the country. 

The advocate informed that Section 57 of the CrPC directly flows from Article 22(2) of the Constitution and therefore a provision intended to be a shield for the accused should not be allowed to be a weapon in the hands of the police. The advocate informed the court that in his prayer he sought some directions to the magistrates and therefore the Registrar General of the High Court was included as a respondent.

After hearing the arguments of the counsel, the bench of Chief Justice Prasanth Kumar Mishra and Justice M Satyanarayana Murthy issued notices to the Chief Secretary, DGP and Registrar General of the AP High Court. As there was no representation for the Andhra Pradesh Medical Council, the petitioner was directed to take out personal notice.

What PIL says 
AP police are not following Sections 54 and 57 of CrPC 
In the guise of investigation, the police are indulging in custodial violence
Police, in violation of Section 54, are taking the accused directly to the station instead of producing him/her before a medical practitioner



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