Civil society needs to be educated on guidelines laid out against custodial torture

Psychiatrist Dr. C. Ramasubramanian launches the banner of guidelines to prevent custodial torture in Madurai on Sunday.

Psychiatrist Dr. C. Ramasubramanian launches the banner of guidelines to prevent custodial torture in Madurai on Sunday. | Photo Credit: MOORTHY G

“We welcome Director General of Police (DGP) C. Sylendra Babu’s move to launch the guidelines on handling accused in custody which is the need of the hour,” said Henry Deepan, advisor, Joint Action Against Custodial Torture (JAACT) here on Sunday.

He was speaking at a seminar conducted here on Sunday to mark International Day in Support of Victims of Torture 2022.

Earlier, a banner stating all the 41 guidelines laid out procedures while handling accused in police stations was handed over by psychiatrist Dr C. Ramasubramanian to Madurai South MLA M. Boominathan and Deputy Commissioner of Police, K. Anand.

The speakers at the event elaborated on various cases of custodial deaths and torture and englightened the audience on the laws opposing such acts.

“This is one of a kind guidelines launched through the initiative of Mr Sylendra Babu. I don’t think such a thing exists in other States either, which is very commendable,” said Mr Henry.

He said that the guidelines have been laid out elaborately and meticulously with fine details. “This needs to reach the civil society, for which we suggest putting up banners of the guidelines in front of every police station to create awareness and dialogue on the subject,” said Mr Henry.

The guidelines include installation of CCTV cameras inside police stations, keeping them on 24/7 and having a backup of upto 18 months with audio and video etc, said L. Shaji Selvan, High Court Judge who spoke on the important judgments relating to custodial torture.

He highlighted the guideline stating that police are responsible to provide the post-mortem report with video to the family of the deceased right away to ensure proper regulation of law.

Mr Henry said that they all collectively want a “No torture Tamil Nadu.”

The speakers also insisted on ratification of the the United Nations Convention Against Torture (UNCAT) signed against custodial torture in 1997. More than 300 people attended the event including Risath Raj, a victim of custodial torture.

M.S. Jawahirullah, president, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi, activist-cum-lawyer S. Selvagomathy and others were present.

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2022 5:22:24 pm |