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  • In Suprit Ishwar Divate v. State of Karnataka, the Karnataka High Court held that an accused arrested for a crime cannot be handcuffed under normal circumstances. 
  • The Court further held that under only extreme circumstances which involve the possibility of an accused escaping custody or causing harm to himself or to others, an accused can be handcuffed.
  • In this case, the petitioner was accused of offences under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.
  • Thereafter, a non-bailable warrant was issued against the accused petitioner and he was handcuffed by the police officials.
  • Subsequently, a writ petition was filed by the petitioner for compensation of Rs. 25,00,000 for loss of reputation by the act of police officials in handcuffing him.
  • A Single Judge Bench comprising Justice Suraj Govindaraj held that the petitioner would be eligible for compensation for putting handcuffs on him.
  • Furthermore, the Court issued guidelines for concerned authorities to be followed in cases of arrest.
  • Firstly, if a person is handcuffed, the reason for doing so shall be recorded in the case diary.
  • Secondly, it is the Court's responsibility to ask an accused whether they have been handcuffed or not and act accordingly.
  • Thirdly, the Court shall try to avoid physical appearance of the under trial prisoner and permit his presence via video conferencing.
  • The Hon'ble Court agreed with the contentions of the petitioner and held that the handcuffing was not at all required and awarded a sum of Rs. 2 Lakhs as compensation.
  • Accordingly, the appeal was allowed.
     
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