ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Police Atrocities and the Quest for Justice

In recent times, we have witnessed an exponential increase in incidence of police atrocities all over the country. Catapulted by the June 2020 case of brutal custodial torture and killings of Jayaraj and Bennix in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu, this article examines the issue through human rights and legal perspectives. It discusses the gaps in the law and its implementation, and examines ways of addressing the same.

The authors thank the peer reviewer for the insightful comments and suggestions received.

The shocking and brutal custodial torture and killings of Jeyaraj and Bennix—the father and son—by the police of Santhankulam police station in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu in June 2020 have, once again, catapulted the discourse on the impunity with which the police force functions across India. While many incidents of police brutality take place regularly, and often in public spaces, few of them get highlighted in the media or witness public outrage in the same manner. Then too, once the ­initial phase of public outrage tides over—assuaged through enquiries, arrests and investigation—very rarely are police officials prosecuted and convicted for these heinous acts of violence. While law is often touted as a solution to social issues, ­including police torture, custodial violence and extrajudicial killings, this article argues that the provisions of law and their implementation are part of the problem. It explores some ways of add­ressing the impunity through domestic law reform, advocacy and adherence to international human rights standards.

Existing Law and Legal Processes

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Updated On : 19th Dec, 2020
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