New Delhi [India], August 8 (ANI): Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Sunday said that the threat to human rights and bodily integrity are the highest in police stations, adding that custodial torture and other police atrocities still prevail despite Constitutional guarantees.
He further pointed out that the lack of effective legal representation at police stations is a huge detriment to arrested/detained persons.
His remarks came while releasing the "Vision and Mission" document of NALSA (National Legal Services Authority) and Mobile App for free legal aid and services here today.
"The threat to human rights and bodily integrity are the highest in Police Stations. Custodial torture and other police atrocities are problems that still prevail in our society. In spite of constitutional declarations and guarantees, lack of effective legal representation at
police stations is a huge detriment to arrested/detained persons" said CJI.
The CJI, who is the Patron-in-Chief of NALSA, was accompanied by senior Supreme Court Judge, Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, the Executive Chairman, NALSA, at the event.
CJI Ramana said, "The decisions taken in the early hours will later determine the ability of the accused to defend himself. Going by the recent reports even the privileged are not spared from third-degree treatment. To keep police excesses in check dissemination of information about the constitutional right to legal aid and availability of free legal aid services is necessary."
He further stated that the installation of display boards and outdoor hoardings in every Police Station/Prison is a step in this direction. However, NALSA must also actively carry out nationwide sensitization of Police Officers, he added.
CJI said, "We want to remain as a society governed by the rule of law. It is imperative for us to bridge the gap of accessibility to justice between the highly privileged and the most vulnerable."
"For all times to come, we must remember that the realities of socio-economic diversity which prevail in our nation, cannot ever be a reason for denial of rights. Let our past not determine our future. Let us dream of a future based on legal mobility, a future where equality is a
reality. That is why the project "Access to Justice" is an unending mission," he said.
He further added, "If, as an institution, the judiciary wants to garner the faith of the citizens, we have to make everyone feel assured that we exist for them."
Justice Ramana said that the problem of poor connectivity in rural and remote areas adversely affecting the justice delivery was highlighted by all.
Keeping in view all these drawbacks, he said that he had written to the Government emphasizing the need to bridge the digital divide on a priority basis. (ANI)