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Reasons For Handcuffing The Accused Must Be Documented In The Case Diary: The Karnataka High Court Has Awarded A Law Student 2 Lakhs In Compensation

Azala Firoshi ,
  02 July 2022       Share Bookmark

Court :
Karnataka High Court
Brief :

Citation :
Writ Petition No. 115362 OF 2019

CASE TITLE:
Suprit Ishwar Divate Vs The State Of Karnataka

DATE OF ORDER:
10th JUNE, 2022

JUDGE(S):
Hon’ble Justice Suraj Govindaraj

PARTIES:
PETITIONER: SUPRIT ISHWAR DIVATE
RESPONDENT: THE STATE OF KARNATKA

IMPORTANT PROVISIONS

Sections 46 and 49 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

SUBJECT

The Karnataka High Court has ruled that an arrested suspect cannot normally be handcuffed. Handcuffing an accused is only permitted in "extreme circumstances," such as when there is a risk of the accused/under trial prisoner escaping custody, causing harm to himself or others, or causing harm to others.

OVERVIEW

  • No one, whether an accused, a prisoner on trial, or a convict, shall be handcuffed unless the reason for doing so is recorded in the case diary and/or the relevant record.
  • If an accused is brought before a Court after being arrested, the Court must inquire, among other things, whether the accused was handcuffed or not. If the person responds in the affirmative, the Court must determine the reasons for the handcuffing and decide whether or not the handcuffing is valid.
  • If an under trial prisoner is brought before the Court, the Court shall inquire whether he was handcuffed or not, and if the person responds in the affirmative, the Court shall ascertain the reasons for such handcuffing and decide on the validity or otherwise of such handcuffing.
  • The trial Court shall make every effort to avoid the physical appearance of the under trial prisoner and permit the under trial prisoner to apply for and if under trial prisoners are handcuffed, the concerned police officer risks having such handcuffing declared illegal and action taken against them.
  • To the greatest extent possible, permission to handcuff an under-trial prisoner would have to be obtained prior to the under-trial prisoner being produced before the Court and obtaining an order for handcuffing from the said Court. If no such permission is sought and prisoners on trial are handcuffed, the concerned police officer risks having such handcuffing declared illegal and action taken against them.
  • It is the responsibility of the State to provide all police stations with adequate and necessary police personnel for the purpose of carrying out the State's duties and obligations. It is the responsibility of the state to fill those vacancies as soon as possible.
  • The Director General of Police shall also make every effort to make body cameras available to all police officers who have the authority to arrest someone, so that the manner of arrest is recorded by such body cameras. The camera should also have a microphone to record the conversations that are taking place at that time. The video and audio recordings must be kept for at least one year from the date of recording. The Director General of Police shall prepare a Standard Operating Procedure in this regard, and appropriate training shall be provided to such officers.

ANALYSIS BY THE COURT

  • Sections 46 and 49 of the Criminal Procedure Code, Sections 831, 832, 833, 834, and 835 of the Karnataka Police Manual, and various Supreme Court and High Court judgments were cited by the bench.
  • It was noted that the respondents provided no justification for handcuffing the petitioner. There were no objections or affidavits filed in response to the allegations made against the Arresting Officer.

CONCLUSION

  • The court held that because the compensation that must be paid is a Public Law Remedy, there cannot be a straitjacket formula that determines the amount of compensation that must be paid. Whatever the case may be. The required compensation is calculated using the principles of strict liability.
  • The respondent no. 1 is directed to pay a sum of Rs.2 lakhs as compensation to the respondent No.1-State within six weeks of receipt of a copy of this order.
  • No person, whether an accused, a prisoner on trial, or a convict, shall be handcuffed unless the reason for the same is recorded in the case diary and/or the relevant record as to why such a person is required to be handcuffed.
  • Thus, the writ petition is allowed.

Learn the practical aspects of CrPC HERE, CPC HERE, IPC HERE, Evidence Act HERE, Family Laws HERE, DV Act HERE

Click here to download the original copy of the judgement

 
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