A People’s Tribunal, headed by retd Justice AP Shah has suggested that police officers should be held accountable for wrongfully confining people over terror charges.
The panel met 15 such people from across the country. It also suggested “a rights based approach should be adopted by the State to grant compensation to the victims of wrongful actions of the State”.
The panel had filmmaker Saeed Akhtar Mirza, Delhi School academic Nandini Sundar and TISS deputy director Abdul Shaban among its members.
“The police officials involved in such cases must be held accountable. A departmental inquiry must be conducted against them. Further, these police officials should be made criminally liable for the malicious acts done by them in their official capacity,” said the report.
The tribunal also said there should be guidelines for the media as any bid to sensationalise news might devastate lives.
“The media must refrain from pronouncing the accused as guilty till a formal pronouncement is made by the court. Further, the media must publish an apology, if it had written defamatory material against the acquitted innocent,” said the report.
It has also asked that the Prevention of Torture Bill should be passed by Parliament. Provisions of the anti-terror laws, Indian Evidence Act and Criminal Procedure Code should be amended to hold erring officers accountable and to curb custodial violence, said the panel.