Custodial Deaths And Police Reforms In India – A Legal Analysis


Indian economy is a developing economy, having a dense population. The criminal system of India, provides huge powers to the Police. Police aims at reducing the crime rates and making the society free from all kinds illegal activities. When someone infringes the law of land, the criminal system provides for the punishment to be given to the offender, here comes the role of Police as the basis of the case or else we can say that the whole case which will taken to the court depends on the First Information Report (F.I.R), which is registered by police only. With this the author can say that police plays a very important role in the Indian Criminal system. In this regard the author has researched about the deaths which take place in police custody,i.e. Custodial Deaths and also about the areas where the police lacks in providing justice to the sufferer. The author has also looked upon the areas where the present police system requires changes and the need for reforms have become the need of time. This paper covers the legal provisons available with the arrested person as rights and the reforms which are necessary in  the present time. The author has also dicussed some important landmark judgements regarding custodial deaths and also cases where the courts have time to time given directions to the government to introduce reforms.


Custodial deaths are one of the worst crimes in today’s civilised society which is governed  by Rule of Law. Does a citizen is not entitled of his fundamental right to life, at the very  moment a policeman arrests him? Can the right to life of a citizen seize to exist on his arrest? The answer to this is a big “No”. In India where rule of law is existing in each and every action and right to life and liberty is prized fundamental right is given the highest place amongst all other important fundamental rights, examples of torture and use of third degree on suspects during illegal detention and police remand puts a question mark on the very system of administration.

Custodial torture is one of the cruellest forms of human rights abuse. The Constitution of India, the Supreme Court, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the United Nations forbid it. But the police across the country defy these institutions. Therefore, there is a need to strike a balance between the individual human rights and societal interests in combating crime by using a realistic approach.[1]

The recent death of a father and son who were from Tamil Nadu, allegedly due to custodial violence, has sparked anger across the country. Custodial death refers to violence in police custody. It includes death, rape and torture. Custodial death is a result of the over action or use of less power by the police. In layman words we can say that a custodial death is a type of unnatural death. This gives rise to a intensive and a very broad research to be done on the topic.

Under the constitution, the police is a state-represented subject. In this manner, every one of the 29 states has its own police power. The union government can likewise keep up its own police power to enable the state to guarantee lawfulness. Consequently, it keeps up seven focal police officials and other police associations for specific undertakings, for example, data gathering, examination, examination and enlistment, and preparing.

The fundamental job of the police is to agree to the law, explore violations and assurance the wellbeing of individuals in the nation. In a huge and crowded nation like India, the job of the police must be satisfied as far as police, military, criminological, interchanges and transportation support. Moreover, they have operational opportunity to complete their obligations expertly, good working conditions, (for example, controlled working hours and advancement openings), which can diminish execution and abuse of intensity. You have to assume liability. In India, there is a continuous discussion on reforms with the police, and a few government-delegated councils have submitted reports and suggestions to the administration on police reforms.

The most thorough suggestion originated from the National Police Commission (APN), which finished eight reports in 1979-81 and drafted a model police bill[2]. Two other authority boards of trustees have drafted a model police law, and  is a functioning member in both. Drafts of these police bills don’t progress. In 2006, the Supreme Court of India requested a mandate on police change, however neither the focal government nor the state governments, or by leaving the court system. Commission  is effectively checking the usage of court orders the nation over. If it’s not too much trouble note that the Standing Committee on the Interior is likewise researching two issues identified with the association and activity of the focal and state police.

 Objective of the study

  • To touch upon the history and culture of torture in India and to examine the reasons for the same.
  • To study about the rights of the accused at the pre-trial stage in India.
  • To study about the present Police System in India.
  • To study about the areas where the Indian Police system lacks.
  • To study and draw conclusions from the judgements passed by the court.
  • To study the data of the custodial deaths in India in recent times with the help of some landmark judgements.
  • To study about the response of the National Human Rights Commission to the custodial deaths and police refoms.
  • To suggest some suitable remedies and protective measures for the prevention of custodial deaths and some police reforms which can be introduced in the present police system.

Hypothesis of study

  • The deaths under police custody takes place due to prolonged unlawful custody.
  • Victims of custodial deaths are amongst those who have a criminal background picked up by the police and tortured to an extent which leads to death.
  • The problems that the police face in India.

Responsibilities of Centre and States

The constitution sets up the division of administrative and official powers between the inside and the states. With respect to the police, the figure shows a portion of the significant things directed by the middle and the state.

Figure 1: Responsibilities of centre and states with regard to police

Answerable for nearby issues, for example, wrongdoing avoidance and examination, law implementation and request. They additionally give the principal reaction if there should arise an occurrence of progressively extraordinary interior security challenges, for example, fear based oppressor assaults or agitator related viciousness, however focal powers are represented considerable authority in taking care of such clashes. For instance, the Central Guard is prepared to contain huge scope revolts and limit harm to life and property contrasted with nearby police. Also, the focal armed force underpins the barrier powers with fringe insurance. The union is liable for police activities in the domain of the seven associations. It additionally furnishes the state police with data and money related help.


A number of treaties prohibit torture and unhuman treatment, Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, degrading treatment or any punishment which is inhuman.”

Talking about India specifically there is no direct right available against custodial torture, but Aticle 19– Right to Freedom (Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech,etc.)

 Article 20– Right Against Self-incrimination.

Article 21- Right to Life

Article 22– Right to be informed of the ground of arrest and certain other rights given to every person who is accused

 Article 32– Right to Constitutional Remedies

These  are some of the articles which enshrine the rights of an accused/suspect which are available to an accused person under the Constitution Of India.

Similarly Section 57 and section 167 of the code of criminal procedure, provides aid to the accused i.e.

Section 57- Person arrested not to be detained more than twenty-four hours.

Section 167- procedure to be followed when investigation cannot be completed in twenty four hours.  

Background of Police Reforms

The police are viewed as a significant unit of the state, not a functioning power for the state to practice its capacity and authority. Reconnaissance has been around for quite a while since the association of the general public, however a composed and lawful police framework called the Daloger framework showed up in West Bengal in 1792 in England-India. Bombay Province (1793). The Daroga framework couldn’t meet the administration’s desires at that point, as it couldn’t control the police in the town because of an absence of labor.


The police were set on the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, State List II. In any case, to meet open desires, the focal government can convince state governments to carry reforms to the police organization. After freedom, a few expert gatherings researched issues with police associations and proposed remedial activities. The following are a portion of the key councils at the front line of police change. 1. Blood Commission (1972) 2. National Police Commission (1979-81) 3. Bola Commission (1993) 4. Ribeiro Commission (1998-99) 5. Authoritative Reform Committee II (2005).[3]

History of Custodial Deaths and Police Reforms in India

Cruelty by police is a very common concept in India in the present times, it violates the civil and human rights by tormenting and abusing a person. From 2000-2016, as per National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) statistics, there were 1,022 reported deaths of individuals in police custody but only 428 FIRs were filed ,out of which only 5% of the policemen were convicted. Police cruelty or Police Brutality has been a very commom concept in recent past, which is seen as a entertainment but its results can be more harmful in future.

Custodial deaths and violence have become so frequent that we aa normal people have started to become senseless  to such acts, unless and untill they are very serious. Some of the examples of such acts were seen in recent past when at the time of protest against Citizen Amendment Bill (CAA), Jamia Milia Islamia Universities students were subjected to brutality by the police and also a very famous case of custodial deaths  of a father-son duo in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu where the Madras High Court took suo motu cognisance of the matter[4]. All these are just a very few instances which shows us about the misuse of the power by the police.

This doesn’t imply that consideration has not been paid to this perspective. A few panels and advisory groups were designated when autonomy to talk about different parts of the effectiveness of the administration of the national police. Everything began with the First Police Commission, which was built up soon after the 1857 uprising, and thought about the administrative structure for the residential police. Built up in 1860, the Commission’s proposal declared the Police Act of 1861. The law despite everything oversees the police. A survey of the issues got from the use of the Police Law of 1861 was helped out in 1902 through the foundation of the Second Police Commission.[5]

The board of trustees has the accompanying components: police association, sufficient preparing, sufficiency, pay rates, ampleness of criminal grievance strategies, criminal examinations, satisfactory oversight of police justices against the police, criminal examinations, railroad police and Management of predominant officials in connection with the neighborhood police.

In outline, India is a majority rule and dynamic government common society on the planet (Randhawa and Narang, 2013), and monetary advancement assumes a significant job. India’s procedure of monetary progression started in the late 1970s with the point of quickening the pace of financial development and completion destitution, however the procedure started in July 1991.

The effect of these reforms is decided by the way that the yearly development pace of GDP has quickened from 1.4% in 1991-92 to 9.3% in 2010-11 and 6.2% in 2011-123. You can It developed from $ 132 million from 1991 to 1992 to $ 284 million as it was in December 2012[6]. As far as yearly development rate by part, the horticultural and ranger service segment expanded from – 1.4% in 1991-92 to 7.5 % in 2010-11, and the assembling and development division expanded from – 0.1% in 1991-92 to 2010-11. It rose to 9.5%. What’s more, network, social and individual administrations developed from 2.6% in 1991-92 to 4.3% in 2010-115[7].

In the previous 20 years, agribusiness and ranger service have developed at a normal yearly pace of 3.17%, assembling and development to 7.16%, and network, social and individual administrations to 6.53%. In people group, social and individual administrations, this pattern has been exacerbated by the intricacy of the police, the more intricate social assistance exercises; expanded open dread of wrongdoing and expanded interest for administrations from law implementation associations. The Indian police framework depends on the 1861 police law. There has been little change of the Indian police framework since the sanctioning of the police law. Various wasteful aspects have likewise been distinguished in the Indian police framework, including the insufficient work of police faculty, absence of preparing offices, absence of specialized offices, and absence of basic gear and different assets.

The Government of India built up different councils at different occasions to recognize and take out wasteful aspects and do essential reforms to the Indian police framework.

It is important that and still, after all that, the police were wasteful, needed preparing and association, and were commonly thought to be “degenerate and abusive”. After autonomy, the financial, political and social changes set up in the nation have caused me to feel the need to audit police administration. After autonomy, the main Police Reform Commission was established by Kerala in 1959.

This was trailed by a progression of police commissions delegated primarily by different state governments during the 1960s and 1970s (West Bengal in 1960-61, Punjab in 1961-62, Delhi in 1968, 1971. Tamil Nadu). At the focal government level, the Administrative Reform Commission set up a working gathering on police in 1966.

The Gore Police Training Commission was set up in 1971, trailed by the Police Commission somewhere in the range of 1977 and 1981, with eight reports recommending across the board reforms of existing police associations and the model police law. It has been sent The administration didn’t receive any of the key suggestions of the National Police Commission. This convinced two previous Police Secretaries (DGP) in 1996 to come up with a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court (Prakash Singh versus U.O.I) and teach the administration to execute the NPC proposals. I solicited In the course from a ten-year claim, the court set up the Ribeiro Commission in 1998 and considered the means taken to execute the suggestion.

While this issue was continuous in the SC, in 2000 the Home Office made a Padmanabhaiah Commission to think about the necessities for checking the new century. At that point in 2003, the Marimas Commission for the Reform of the Indian Criminal Justice System was built up.

As indicated by the 2011 enumeration, India is the second biggest nation on the planet by populace (1.21 billion), after China (1.34 billion). It is the seventh biggest government alliance (3,287,263 km) by area, comprising of 29 states, 7 association regions, 640 areas, 5,924 sub-regions, 7,935 urban communities, and 640,867 towns[8].

At the point when India accomplished autonomy in 1947, the police created as probably the best framework in India. Article 246 of the Indian Constitution records the police, lawfulness and ethics, the courts, detainment facilities and other related offices in the nation. Determines that police organization is the obligation of the state. State governments have built up decides and guidelines that administer the police in each state. Nonetheless, this doesn’t limit the job of the focal government in the police organization. The job of the focal government has to do with the improvement of laws for police organization and the alteration of fundamental police laws. The main Police Commission was built up on August 17, 1860 to sort out, renew, and build up a powerful managerial framework (Shah, 1999). The principle goal of the panel is to improve productivity and lessen costs.

The bill was introduced on September 8, 1860 and proclaimed as the Police Act (v) of 1861 (Nadeem, 1989). The law gave more consideration to the structure of the unit and didn’t build up new gauges for enlistment, preparing or compensation. At that point, in 1902, A.H.L. The subsequent Police Commission under the Fraser umbrella (known as the Fraser Commission) addresses a portion of the essential auxiliary modalities of the police framework and explores the requirement for Indian police change in the present times.

Be that as it may, the present Indian police framework is as yet dependent on the Police Act of 1861. The Police Act of 1861 was authorized to oversee the state police association. The police are government associations answerable for keeping up lawfulness, security, harmony and shielding people in general from mischief to practically all considerate social orders on the planet. The fundamental elements of the Indian Police are wrongdoing anticipation, upkeep of security, requirement of national peace, common insurance and property assurance. At the end of the day, we will fulfill the fundamental needs of society, for example, security, protection, reconciliation, solidarity, development, improvement and progress. In any case, as the monetary, social and world of politics of society has changed, the necessities and social needs have changed. The crime percentage is expanding during the time spent development and improvement. Table 1 shows information highlighting a portion of the key wrongdoing patterns throughout the years in India.

Finding and Analysis


Table showing States with higesht number of custodial deaths.

Table showing the reason wise number of custodial deaths in India.

Table 1 shows that violations under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), assault, grabbing, hijacking and wrongdoing have expanded by 38.56%, 132.52%, 122.44% and 219.14%, individually, over the most recent 20 years. The pace of trust maltreatment in murders, burglaries, thefts and wrongdoings diminished by 12.43%, 6.54%, 6.09% and 0.22% separately[10].

In general, as the table shows, crime percentages in India have expanded by 32.86% over the most recent 20 years. The expansion in national crime percentages has likewise changed the needs, jobs, obligations and elements of the Indian police. The present society normally anticipates quality help from police officials. Officials are relied upon to convey viably, show empathy, and regard people in general consistently (Miller et al, 2009).

Subsequently, changing the obsolete and obsolete police association framework requires fast and suitable reforms. Police reforms are additionally expected to improve and fortify the regulatory and basic parts of the association. The arrangement of the Police Task Force by the Administrative Reform Commission in 1966 was the main indication of enthusiasm from the focal government on this specific issue. Since 1971, different endeavors have been made to carry change to the Indian police framework at both the state and focal levels. To accomplish this objective, the focal government periodically settled a few advisory groups and boards of trustees.

                 Table 2 presents some of these major police reforms committees in India


Relevance of section 167 in giving protection to the arrested person

“Section 167 of CrPC- Procedure when investigation cannot be completed in twenty four hours”[12].

“(1) Whenever any person is arrested and detained in custody and it appears that the investigation cannot be completed within the period of twenty- four hours fixed by section 57, and there are grounds for believing that the accusation or information is well- founded, the officer in charge of the police station or the police officer making the investigation, if he is not below the rank of sub- inspector, shall forthwith transmit to the nearest Judicial Magistrate a copy of the entries in the diary hereinafter prescribed relating to the case, and shall at the same time forward the accused to such Magistrate.”

“ (2) The Magistrate to whom an accused person is forwarded under this section may, whether he has or has not jurisdiction to try the case, from time to time, authorise the detention of the accused in such custody as such Magistrate thinks fit, for a term not exceeding fifteen days in the whole; and if he has no jurisdiction to try the case or commit it for trial, and considers further detention unnecessary, he may order the accused to be forwarded to a Magistrate having such jurisdiction. Provided that”-

“(a)  the Magistrate may authorise the detention of the accused person, otherwise than in the custody of the police, beyond the period of fifteen days; if he is satisfied that adequate grounds exist for doing so, but no Magistrate shall authorise the detention of the accused person in custody under this paragraph for a total period exceeding,”

  • “ninety days, where the investigation relates to an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term of not less than ten years”;

“ (ii) sixty days, where the investigation relates to any other offence, and, on the expiry of the said period of ninety days, or sixty days, as the case may be, the accused person shall be released on bail if he is prepared to and does furnish bail, and every person released on bail under this sub- section shall be deemed to be so released under the provisions of Chapter XXXIII for the purposes of that Chapter”

“(b) no Magistrate shall authorise detention in any custody under this section unless the accused is produced before him.”

“(c) no magistrate of second class, not specially empowered in this behalf by the High Court, shall authorise detention in the custody of the police.”

“Keeping in consideration the welfare of the accused, The Madras High Court took suo moto cognizance in the case of Jeyaraj and Bennix which is a landmark case of custodial death laid out certain duties of the magistrates to be followed in order to protect the life of the accused.”

These were:-                                                                                          

  • Duty not to mechanically remand the accused in all cases of punishment of less than seven years.
  •  ‘ while exercising this judicial act, it is obligatory on the part of the magistrate to satisfy himself whether the material placed before him justify such a remand or, to put it differently whether there exist reasonable grounds to commit the accused to custody and extend his remand.
  •  To physically check the accused about any injuries.
  • To always check the police diary to ascertain the time of arrest.( it should be less than 24 hours)
  • Try not to see the accused sitting in the police van.

Some of the issues to be considered by courts to measure the pre-trial detention. They are as follows:-

  1. Reasonable grounds on which it can be believed that person has himself committed the offence.
  2. Any chances of the suspect becoming abscond?
  3. Any chances of commiting crime by the suspect in future?
  4. If his release will cause any violation of principle of natural justice?
  5. His release on putting any condition will be enough?

Landmark Judgements by various courts on matters related to Custodial Deaths

  • D.K Basu vs. State of West Bengal (1997) (1) SCC (416):-

The court issued a list of  guidelines in order to provide safe guard to the arrested person. The guidelines were as follows:-

  1. Police personnel while performing any of their duty shall wear a appropriate and clear name tags with their designation. The details of every policeman who handles the investigation must be properly recorded.
  2. A memo of arrest must be made when arrested, which contains details of arrest. This shall be signed by atleast one person who can be a member of family of the arrested person or a neighbour where such arrest is done. It must be signed by the arrested person also.
  3. If the memo is not signed by any witness then the arrested person has the right to have a relative, friend or a well wisher to be informed about the place of detention or custody and the reason of arrest.
  4. In case the known or neighbour of the arrested person is not traceable in the district, when arrest is done, the person shall be acknowledged about the same by police in the time period of 8 to 12 hours. Entry to be made in the diary about every single detail of the arrest being done by the police.
  5. The person who is arrested can get a physical fitness test done while he is arrested. Injuries shall be recorded properly. Copy of such entry shall be provided to the arrested person.
  6. It is the right of the arrested person to get his medical done by a doctor every 48 hours while he is in the custody.
  7. Copies of all documents should be send to the Magistrate so that he can update the same in his record.
  8. The arrested person can meet and take advice of  a lawyer while he is being interrogated by the police.
  9. A police control room in every state and district headquarters so that the information related to the the arrest and the place from where the person is arrested is known to the higher police authorities as sent by the arresting authorities. The time limit for such is twelve hours only. Information must be displayed on the board.
  10. It is compulsory to produced the arrested before the court within a time period of 24 hours starting from the time when the person was arrested.
  • Joginder kumar vs. State of Uttar Pradesh and Others (AIR 1349: 1994 SCC(4) 260)

The court in this case gave certain guidelines in order to protect Articles 21 and 22(1), which were as following:-

  1. The arrested person shall be informed about his rights when he has reached the police station.
  2. An entry to be made in the diary regarding as to whom was information regarding the arrest was made.
  3. That the protections from the power are enlisted from Articles 21 and 22(1) and shall be followed appropriately.
  4. Magistrate’s duty was fixed as to ensure that the above given guidelines were complied with.
  • J. Prabhavathiamna vs. State of Kerala and others (2007)

Two policemen were given death sentence by a CBI court, after the case was heard for over a period of 10 years, in Thiruvananthapuram, in this case death of a person dealing in metal took place, court believed that he was killed while he was in police custody. The acts of these policemen will affect the working of police, and if the faith of the people in police and its working is absent, it will cause harm to the law and order, which will be a  situation no man can think of.”

  • Yashwant and others vs. State of Maharashtra (2018)

The Apex Court denied to change the punishment of nine Maharashtra policemen and upheld their conviction in the custodial death case  of 1993 and extended their imprisonment  from three years to seven years each. The judges who upheld the order also said that incidents like this force people to lose their confidence in the criminal justice system.

The Supreme Court while increasing the punishment said, “With great power, there comes a greater responsibility”. The policemen were punished under section  330 of the Indian Penal Code which involves causing voluntarily hurt in order to extract confession or to forcely get possession of property.

  • K.K Rajan vs. Union of India (2016)

In this case, the court laid down the importance of the case diary, and said that in every cicumstance the case diary should be maintained and proper enteries to be done in it with appropriate subject matter.


1) Gore Committee (1971-1973)

The Gore Commission, established in 1971, audited the state police preparing frameworks from the lowest level to the highest level. The Commission made a sum of 186 proposals, of which just 45 were identified with police change. The vast majority of the reforms identified with police preparing frameworks have been executed. As per a report gave by the Office of Police Research and Development (BPRD) (as of January 1, 2012), an aggregate of 215 police preparing establishments are situated in various states and association domains with 69 police preparing organizations at the union level.  These preparation foundations were built up to give fundamental police preparing to new workers and in-administration preparing for police faculty. Spending on police official preparing has likewise demonstrated huge development. The accompanying table shows the development in the financial limit for police preparing costs in the most recent decade.


The information in Table 3 shows various information from 2003-04 and 2008-09. The remainder of every single other year show an expansion in the spending measure of the preparation spending plan. In spite of the fact that planned spending on preparing has expanded throughout the years, it despite everything requires greater venture.

2) National Police Commission (1977-1982)

The National Police Commission (APN) was built up in 1977 to research the exercises of the Indian framework wide and police associations. This Commission has submitted eight reports, remembering 291 suggestions for police change, and has likewise suggested a model police law. These reports center around issues identified with police work and day to day environments, police jobs, obligations, forces and duties, compensation structure, lodging hardware and vocation arranging, police family government assistance, police defilement and modernization. The association and structure of the police, the individual police, the lady police, the national and common police, their duty and execution. The report likewise centers around issues identified with criminal examination, social enactment, police authority, IPS preparing, revolt the executives, assessment, and police order and control.

The primary suggestions of the Commission were on the arrangement and arrangement of specific terms for the chiefs of the state police offices, the substitution of the 1861 police law by the new police law and the extension of the job of the police in the nation. None of these key suggestions of this panel has been embraced by the legislature, and the report has been a survivor of governmental issues. In any case, if the NPC’s proposals were not executed, an appeal was recorded in 1996 by Shri Prakash singh (a resigned IPS official) (Prakash singh v. The Indian Federation) and the Supreme Court requires the establishment of another police law. In September 2005, the Supreme Court gave a few directions to give a commonsense component to start police change in every Indian state[14]. A portion of these significant directions are:

• Ensure that the Police Secretary is designated through a straightforward procedure dependent on justify and guarantee a base term of two years.

• Ensure that on the job police officials get a base term of two years.

• Establish a panel called the Established Police Board (EPB) to settle on choices about police work force moves, pamphlets, advancements, and other assistance related issues.

• Establish a Statewide Police Complaints Authority (PCA) to explore open grievances against police officials.

• Establish a National Security Commission (NSC) at the focal level and set up a board for the arrangement and position of Heads of the Central Police Organization (CPO) for at least two years.

3) Ribeiro Committee (1998)

The Commission was set up in 1998 by request of the Supreme Court under the locale of the previous Punjab Police Commissioner, Julius Ribeiro. The Commission has proposed five key suggestions concentrated on the appointment of the Police Secretary (DGP), which incorporate issues identified with the accompanying exchanges of officials, advancements, compensation, assents, suspensions and all issues identified with the administration: Proposal to set up a board to choose the position of undersecretary of police. The Commission likewise settled its proposals on the foundation of a National Security Commission. The proposals of this board of trustees have not yet been executed.

4) Padmanabhaiah Committee (2000)

The Padmanabhaiah Commission was framed in January 2000 by the Home Office under the chairmanship of Shri KantipudiPadmanabhaiah. A board was shaped to explore the way toward enrolling police faculty, their preparation, obligations and duties. The advisory group’s essential center was police responsibility and police command over wrongdoing. The Commission additionally perceived the expanding pattern of politicization and criminalization of the police power in India. To lessen police wrongdoing in India, the Commission has given an aggregate of 99 practical suggestions. Here are a portion of the key suggestions:

• Increase the status of police officials and improve expectations for everyday comforts.

• Prepare another implicit rules for the police.

• Present an arrival of property by a police official.

• Improve the entrance of police officials to the overall population.

• Review capture records made by law requirement work force.

5) Group of Ministers (GOM) on National Security (2000 – 01)

The gathering suggested key issues, for example, insight frameworks, interior security, fringe control, and safeguard control. Under the chairmanship of Shri Lal Krishan Advani, the GOM incorporated the Secretary of Defense, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Finance, the National Security Adviser, the Chief Cabinet Secretary, the police, the head of knowledge administrations and different government officials. . The gathering gave an aggregate of 62 proposals on issues identified with atomic rockets, digital knowledge, development, universal fear mongering, low-force struggle and force war.

Some of the reasons of custodial deaths in India are:-

  • Work Pressure Work Pressure can be held as an important reason for custodial deaths, as policemen due to irritation and frustration of extra work load due to lack of proper employement system, results in increase of temper and attitudal problems. As in anger sometimes a person losses his control which may lead to death in custody of the arrested person.
  • Greed for moneyWith increase in inflation and rise in standard of living greed for money amongst the police also increases as they tend to extract more and more money by misusing their power which is exercised in them by law for the welfare and protecting the common people.
  • Punitive violencePunishment methods which are not traceable in a medical test are mostly misuded by the police as they are aware of the facts what will come under torture in the medical report and what not.
  • Police sub-cultureIn every profession there is a informal or a sub culture prevailing due to historical or due to environment in which the people in that profession work. In police system the sub-culture that prevails is related to misuse of power, obtaining money illegally
  • Lack of proper trainingImproper training or lack of proper training can be a reason for custodial deaths, as the police personnel sometimes fails to use their existing power in an unappropriate manner which might lead to undesirable and serious consequencs.

Necessity of Police Reforms

Police is an elite thing on the state list. The state has the ability to order laws on the police. However, the police became dolls of legislators. India despite everything follows the Police Act of 1861, which was worked by the British to pound the restriction. India is turning into a financial and political superpower, however the police are still in the equivalent solidified state. The police face numerous difficulties and issues, which will require changes in the police organization. A portion of the primary issues are:

· Vacancies and Overburdened force

As of now, there are significant opening in the state police powers and some focal aggressors. As of January 2016, there were 22.80,691 state powers authorized by the state police across India, with 24% of the opening (or 5.49,025)[15]. Since 2009, state police opening are roughly 24% to 25%. The highest joblessness rates in 2016 were recorded in Uttar Pradesh (half), Karnataka (36%), West Bengal (33%), Gujarat (32%) and Haryana (31%). I did as such around the same time, the joined endorsed power of the seven focal police officials was 9.68,233. Be that as it may, 7% of these distributions (for example 63,556 distributions) were free. Opening rates for SashastraSeemaBal (18%), Central Industrial Security Forces (10%), Indian Tibetan Border Guard (9%), and National Guard (8%) were generally high. Focal police opportunities have gone from 6% to 14% since 2007.Officials are liable for most of individuals. The UN suggested standard is 222 police officials for every individual, while India’s approved power is 181 police officials for every individual. Subsequent to modifying for the opportunities, the genuine quality of the Indian police is 137 police officials. In this manner, the normal police official has an overwhelming remaining task at hand and long work hours, which contrarily influences productivity and execution.

· Constabulary related issues

Police comprise of around 86% of police officials whose employments are not constrained to essential occupations. The duty of the police official is wide. Satisfactory preparing is required as you are relied upon to have diagnostic and dynamic abilities. In metropolitan zones, rents are high and there isn’t sufficient settlement close to police stations, which can influence operational effectiveness. Subsequently, lodging must be given to the police to improve productivity. Delegates are by and large advanced once during their main goal and for the most part resign as the operator. This can debilitate the motivating forces for their exhibition.

· Crime Investigation

The most significant yet neglected part of the police is the criminal examination. As of late, the standard has dropped. Criminal examination requires aptitudes and preparing, time and assets, and sufficient scientific abilities and framework. Furthermore, the police come up short on the preparation and experience required to lead examinations. Besides, lawful information is lacking. Due to this, the police use power and torment to acquire proof. Inability to report violations in India has prompted high securing periods.

· Police Infrastructure

Current police observation requires propelled weapons, solid correspondence backing, and high mobility. CAG and BPRD bring up certain disadvantages.

Weapons: Weapons are obsolete and the procurement procedure is moderate, bringing about an absence of weapons and ammo. A review by the Rajasthan Police Department (2009-2014) found that the accessibility of present day weapons needs 75%. Gujarat and West Bengal additionally had a 36% and 71% lack of essential weapons, individually.

Police vehicles: It has been noticed that there is a lack of police vehicles that influence the police reaction time and its viability.

Underutilization of assets for modernization: For the modernization of the National Police, reserves are dispensed by both the inside and the state, yet the issue is that these assets are underused. For instance, in 2015-16, the Center and the State dispensed Rs. 9,203 ass for modernization. Notwithstanding, just 14% of that is utilized.

· Police- public relations

Police advertising is a significant concern in light of the fact that the police need the trust, participation and backing of the network to forestall wrongdoing and disarray. Be that as it may, individuals believed the relationship to be unseemly as they see the police as degenerate, wasteful, and harsh. This test can be tended to with the network policing model. This requires the police to work with the network to forestall and distinguish wrongdoing. This incorporates police watches and the production of network based criticism systems. Kerala for the “Janamaithri Suraksha Project”, Rajasthan for the “Joint Patrol Committee”, Assam for “Meira Paibi”, Tamil Nadu for “Companions of the Police”, West Bengal for the “Network Police Project”, and that’s just the beginning. I am Andhra Pradesh, Maithri and Maharashtra through the Mohalla Committees.

Some of the basic reforms which can be introduced.

India is in a circumstance where the accompanying changes should be made today for the powerful activity of the police:

Separation of Duties: All police offices ought to be ordered into various classes, for example, murder, theft, transportation, artificial intelligence, female abusers, undercover work, outskirt customs, coast watch, battle units, and so forth. I additionally need a division had practical experience in budgetary misrepresentation, land extortion and defilement. Officials must be prepared in each of these subcategories before being recruited.

Ongoing assessment: Since police officials are accustomed to being eager, certain presentation standards must be adjusted to keep BMI rates for police faculty inside a specific range. Execution tests are fundamental to evaluate in the case of everything is in administration condition following 4-6 months.

Technological advances: India is an immense nation and CCTV cameras can’t cover all corners. Inventive arrangements, for example, the utilization of automatons, unmanned elevated vehicles that screen the whole city, must be utilized. Incorporated database of nearby crooks for interjection.

Separation of security and governmental issues: I accept that all security matters ought to go to the state senator and the leader of the inside. You can likewise set up a different panel, which remembers decided for the Superior Court, resigned IPS officials, and common society pioneers drove by the representative, to give them authority over exchanges and arrangements.

Suggestions and Recommendations

Suggestions to prevent custodial deaths include use of technological methods during investigation, proper health check-up i.e. getting proper physical medical done of the arrested person, upgradation of police stations, answerability of police personnels to be fixed and liabilities to be also fixed, proper monitoring by senior police officers requires to be done so that the policemen at subordinate level work inaccordance with the law and fear about the departmental enquiry and strict action can be taken against them, other suggestions include installation of CCTV camera’s at the place where the arrested person is kept at the same time monitoring of the same should be done by a senior police officer. It will be better if the senior police officer is not from the home district as it would lead to biasness[16]. Policemen should be held answerable about each and every incident that happens during the time of interrogation and their liabilities should be fixed so that the power vested in them is not misused by them at any cost. Availability of first-aid kits should be ensured in every police station for the use in emrgency situations, also the installation of fire extinguisher must be made mandatory in every police station. Duty chart which is made deciding the timings at which who will be on duty must be kept confidiential so that the dignity of the police is maintained.

Government can also take steps such as, introducing 8 hour duty schedule for each police personnel, this will fulfiil two major requirements i.e. a) duty of 8 hours will be a good step as the person will work efficiently and effectively and 2) 8 hours duty of per person will provide employment to 3 persons in 24 hours, which will solve the problem of underemployement in the police departments. Another step which government can take is related to a proper and a motivational promotion criteria in the system so that each and every person employed is given a chance to show his capabilities and strength, government can form a central police board which will cover all the police of diiferent states under it, this will help police to come out from political pressure and work independentaly. Providing appropriate accommodation, health and time to time increase in the allowances given to policemen will increase their morale and boost up their confidence which will lead to successful and working with dedication towards their job.

The police give long haul national and worldwide relations in regards to death, injury, viciousness, misery, peril, time pressure, extended periods of time of work, move work, appearance in court, participation with regular people, absence of conference, open objections and political obstruction. It is a calling that incorporates a study. Absence of staff, absence of specialized help, visit moves, resistance, steady analysis from the media, people in general and others. Different advisory groups and boards built up by the Government of India have now and again made different reforms and proposals to address these framework inadequacies and issues. Be that as it may, a large portion of these reforms ended up being lacking. Governments should take a shot at the thorough usage of the proposals, reforms and strategies given by different boards of trustees and working gatherings to guarantee that the police in India are a smooth and calm social assistance. If these suggestions and recommendations are taken into consideration on a serious note then we can see a very positive and an unexpected change in the police working system.

The suggestions proposed by the different boards of trustees, if completely actualized, can improve police execution and responsibility and decrease national wrongdoing.


Police change has been on the administration’s motivation since freely, yet throughout the years, the police have not been seen as wasteful or wasteful. He is even blamed for politicization. In such manner, it ought to be noticed that the fundamental structure of the Indian Police was made in 1861, and despite the fact that society has experienced sensational changes, little has changed and is proceeding. Open desires for the police are increasing and new types of wrongdoing are developing.

Police organisation an independent body it should be kept free from political pressure and should be treated as a superior law maintaining institution only then the capabilities of the police personnels will be used to the maximum and people will have faith in the police system. Everything happens for a reason, keeping this in mind the governments should make policies which provides motivation and a feeling of belongingness towards the department.

The present condition of the police organization doesn’t bolster individuals’ prosperity and should be changed. The police framework should be improved to be in accordance with the present situation and refreshed to successfully battle wrongdoing and crooks, secure the human rights and real interests of every individual.

The reforms are possible through proper interventions in skill building and transforming attitude, by introducing reforms which are both practical and bold. Indian police change is a significant component for utilitarian vote based system and for residents to make the most of their privileges unafraid. The interest for police change is more than 100 years of age. From that point forward, there have been numerous reports of residue gathering on them. There is a need of a strong and more effective structural changes to be introduced in the Indian police system. The time has come now for the police to serve as an organization which meets the needs of the society which are essential for security, safety, quality of life and peace of the society. Involvement of the community, proactive policing strategies and problem oriented policing are some of the reforms which are to be adopted in the changing society.


“Data on Police Organisations”, Bureau of Police Research and Development, 2016,

“Model Police Manual: Volume 1”, Bureau of Police Research and Development,

“Model Police Manual: Volume 2”, Bureau of Police Research and Development,

“Model Police Manual: Volume 3”, Bureau of Police Research and Development,

“Public Order”, Second Administrative Reforms Commission, 2008,; “Police Organisation in India”, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, 2016,

 “Police Reforms in India: A critical appraisal”,by R.K. Sharma,  Journal on Social Sciences, page no.4,7,11 and 15.

[1] Joginder Kumar v. State of Uttar Pradesh, (1994) 4 SCC 260

[2] R.K. Sharma, “Police Reforms in India: A critical appraisal”, Journal on Social Sciences, page no. 7.

[3] Police reforms in India, available at http:/

[4] Source: 

[5] R.K. Sharma, “Police Reforms in India: A critical appraisal”, Journal on Social Sciences, page no. 15

[6] Survey on indian police employees available at https:/

[7] Report on crime in India 2014, issued by MHA.

[8] Economic survey  on Indian Economy available at https:/ 1.pdf.

[9] Statistical data on custodial deaths in india available at :

[10] Report on data on police organisation in india (2014) published by BPRD, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government Of India, chapter 4, page 7-9.

[11] Police reforms in India, available at http:/

[12] Code of Criminal Procedure,1973.

[13] Economic survey  on Indian Economy available at https:/

[14] Prakash Singh v. U.O.I, cited from https:/

[15] Survey on indian police employment status available at https:/

[16] Police reforms in India, available at http:/


Yatin Kathuria and Yoginder Singh Rana

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This Content is Protected.