Bill for custodial crime victims introduced
The Government has introduced a Bill in Parliament providing for state compensation to victims of custodial violence, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said on Thursday.
However, the number of cases of custodial crimes are showing a downward trend, he said.
"The concept that compensation should be given to victims of custodial violence is increasingly getting accepted and the Government of India is also inclined to accept it," he said in his inaugural address at a two-day seminar on Custodial Justice organised by NHRC and PRAJA, an NGO.
"We have introduced a Bill in the legislature under which compensation will be given to the victims," the Minister said.
He said the compensation given by the government will be decided either by a court judge or a committee of experts.
Admitting that custodial crimes were taking place in the country, Patil, however, said the number of deaths, rapes in custody and disappearances of arrested persons have gone down.
He said the steps that had to be taken to remedy the situation included changes in the laws, introduction of new advanced technologies in investigation such as biometrics and genetics and sensitisation of the police personnel as well as the public.
Patil also said that more stress should be laid on circumstantial evidence rather than the account of witnesses.
"Circumstances do not lie, witnesses can," he said stressing that police should make arrests only when absolutely necessary.