The Rajya Sabha was informed by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) that Gujarat has the greatest number of custody deaths during the past five years, with 80 reported. This is followed by Bihar (76), Uttar Pradesh (41), Tamil Nadu (40), and Maharashtra (76). (38).
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai informed the Rajya Sabha that a total of 146 cases of death in police custody were reported in 2017-2018, 136 in 2018-2019, 112 in 2019-2021, 100 in 2020-2021, and 175 in 2021-2022. These deaths were reported in all of India’s states and union territories between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2022.
“In Gujarat, there were 14 deaths in police custody in 2017-18, 13 deaths in 2018-19, 12 deaths in 2019-20, 17 deaths in 2020-21, and 24 deaths in 2021-22,” he stated.
Rai stated that, of the nine Union Territories, Delhi has the greatest number of detainee deaths in the recent five years, with 29. Then comes Jammu and Kashmir at number four.
Citing statistics provided by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the minister stated that the commission has recommended monetary redress in 201 cases involving fatalities in police custody, totaling Rs 5,80,74,998, and disciplinary action in one case.
“In Maharashtra, there were 19 deaths in police custody in 2017-18, 11 in 2018-19, 3 in 2019-2020, 13 in 2020-21, and 30 in 2021-22,” In Uttar Pradesh, ten deaths were reported in 2017-18, twelve in 2018-19, three in 2019-2020, eight in 2020-21, and eight in 2021-22, according to Rai.
“Eleven deaths were reported in Tamil Nadu in 2017-18, eleven in 2018-19, twelve in 2019-2020, two in 2020-21, and four in 2021-22. In Bihar, seven deaths in police custody were reported in 2017-18, five in 2018-19 and 2019-2020, three in 2020-21, and 18 in 2021-22, according to Rai.
The minister stated that states such as Sikkim and Goa reported no incidents between 2017 and 2020, but each reported one fatality in custody in 2021 and 2022. “According to the Seventh Schedule of India’s Constitution, police and public order are State subjects. Protection of human rights falls primarily under the jurisdiction of the relevant state government. “However, the Central Government periodically issues advisories and has enacted the Protection of Human Rights Act (PHR), 1993, which mandates the establishment of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and State Human Rights Commissions to investigate allegations of human rights violations by public servants,” he said.
“When the National Human Rights Commission receives allegations of human rights abuses, it takes action in accordance with the Protection of Human Rights Act of 1993. Periodically, the National Human Rights Commission organises workshops and seminars to educate public officials about human rights and, in particular, the protection of the rights of detainees,” he noted.