- What is Custodial Interrogation?
- Which Rights of a Citizen does it violate?
- Why Interrogation of this type is necessary?
- Benefits of Abjuring Custodial Interrogation:
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What is Custodial Interrogation?
It is a present day political phenomenon in India where usually very important persons are arrested solely for the purpose of interrogation. The arrest ensures negative opinion in the usual public discourse about the arrested personality.
Which Rights of a Citizen does it violate?
Custodial Interrogation violates Article 20(3) “No person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself”
It also violates Right to Silence.
How does Custodial Interrogation violate Right Against Self Incrimination?
How does Custodial Interrogation violate Right to Silence?
According to Supreme Court, coercion and voluntariness cannot coexist. The core rational is the protection of Voluntariness.
Section 161(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code implements the constitutional right against self-incrimination where: “[Every person who the police is authorised to examine orally] is bound to answer truly all questions relating to such case put to him by [the police officer legally authorised to examine him], other than questions the answers to which would have a tendency to expose him to a criminal charge or to a penalty or forfeiture”
The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 provides a rule called ‘rule against involuntary confessions’.
As per this rule, right to silence is the logical extension of right against self-incrimination.
According to Supreme Court`s judgement in the Selvi v. Karnataka (2010), states that an individual has a choice to either remain silent or speak.
Why Interrogation of this type is necessary?
Rule of law needs to be maintained. Sometimes people with power can get away with acts done against law. Prosecuting such persons is also necessary no matter when the crime occurs. Moreover, it also sets a prime example for future occupants of the office.
Benefits of Abjuring Custodial Interrogation:
- It will improve the ability of police to conduct investigations in a humane manner.
- Collection of evidence based on modern, scientific and humane means would improve.
- Reduce the use of arbitrary power
- More importantly, it will strengthen liberty.
If law is purely used for meeting political ends, like in the case of custodial interrogation, it needs to be shunned. But sometimes people in position with power can get away acts done against the law. The Supreme Court needs to strike a balance between rule of law and custodial interrogation.