The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the conviction of eight personnel of Maharashtra Police in connection with a 1993 custodial death case.
A bench of Justices N V Ramana and Mohan M Shantanagoudar found them guilty under Section 330 IPC (voluntarily causing hurt to extort confession, or to compel restoration of property), and increased their sentence from three years to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment.
“As the police in this case are the violators of law, who had the primary responsibility to protect and uphold law, thereby mandating the punishment for such violation to be proportionately stringent so as to have effective deterrent effect and instill confidence in society,” the bench said, enhancing the punishment.
“Those who are called upon to administer the criminal law must bear in mind that they have a duty not merely to the individual accused before them, but also to the State and to the community at large. Such incidents involving police usually tend to deplete the confidence in our criminal justice system much more than those incidents involving private individuals,” it said.
On June 23, 1993, the accused had picked up a suspect, Joinus, from his home and took him to Deolapar police station following a complaint by some people that they were “looted” some days ago. According to the prosecution, Joinus, who was beaten up, was found dead in his cell next day.