Crime Beneath the Rule of Law

17 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2014

See all articles by Abhijeet Kumar

Abhijeet Kumar

National Law University, Orissa (NLUO) at Cuttack

Date Written: January 3, 2014


The word 'power' carries with itself both positive and negative connotations, viz. 'with great power comes greater responsibility (as said by Voltaire)' and 'power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely (as said by Lord Acton)'.

Police force is not only an integral part of democracy but is vested with power, duty and responsibility to look after security and safety, of 'we the people', and to maintain peace and order. The unfortunate reality is that the violations of these vested duties have been going on by the same authority. The concept of 'rakshak' becoming 'bhakshak' has already been proved true in this nation.

We claim ourselves to be a civic society, whenever Middle East, Gulf Region or Northern Pakistan is in debate, but if closely see the situation in our own state then we will conclude that how custodial violence, commonly known as torture, has become a very serious issue, roots of which are growing only every passing day.

This paper has been basically divided into four parts. The first part will introduce the readers to the topic by explaining and defining it as per various jurists and academicians. It will also explain the philosophical concept of democracy, social welfare and human rights.

The next part of the paper will deal with relevant International Conventions and will give the definition of the topics as given under these conventions. Further, it will be dealing with the Indian scenario which will explain the theory of 'Crime Control Model' and 'Due Process Model', explain the different relevant provisions, Constitutional and Statutory both. It will also point out some recent developments which have been brought out in the legal provisions related to custodial violence. Further, the paper will be give some empirical data and some famous case history as related to custodial violence, which will establish how the present law have been abused by the protectors of the society and how misuse of power is being carried out.

The last part of paper will basically conclude it with various judgments passed by the Apex Court on this heinous crime. The part will also provide some fundamental suggestions, for a new legislation or new provision in existing legislation, to put an end to this growing evil.

Keywords: Custodial Violence, Custodial Crimes, Human Rights, UNCAT, UDHR, ECHR, Indian Penal Code, The Constitution of India

Suggested Citation

Kumar, Abhijeet, Crime Beneath the Rule of Law (January 3, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Abhijeet Kumar (Contact Author)

National Law University, Orissa (NLUO) at Cuttack ( email )

Post Box No. 28, Chahata
Cuttack, OR Odisha 753001

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