Dilip K. Basuashok K. Johari Vs. State of West Bengal & Ors  INSC 634
(1 August 1997)
ANAND, K.T. THOMAS
1ST DAY OF AUGUST, 1997 Present:
Dr. Justice A.S. Anand Hon'ble Mr. Justice K.T. Thomas Dr. A.M. Singhvi, Additional
Solicitor General (A.C.), Ms. Suruchi Agarwal, Sushil Kumar Jain, Y.P. Dhamija,
B. Krishna Prasad, Ms. A. Subhashini, B.B. Singh, Uma Nath Singh, B.S. Chahar, Ashok
Mathur, Ms. Hemantika Wahi, Ms. Nandini Mukherjee, Kailash Vasdev, C.K. Sasi Raj
Kumar Mehta, Dilip Sinha, K.R. Nagaraja, Ms. S. Janani, Aruneshwar Gupta, G. Prakash,
Ms. Beena Prakash, Shakil Ahmed Syed, S.N. Jadhav, D.M. Nargolkar, A.S. Pundit,
R.B. Misra, Gunture Prabhakar, Prem Malhotra, M. Veerappa, R.S. Sodhi, J.K. Manhas,
V. Krishnamurthy, D.N. Mukherjee, T. Sridharan, Gopal Singh, D.S. Mehra, Ms. Kamakshi
Singh Mehlwal, V.G. Pragasam and Ms. Kamini Jaiswal, Advs. with him for the
R D E R The following Order of the Court was delivered:
PETITION (CRL) no. 592 OF 1987 O R D E R On December 18, 1996 in D.K. Basu
Versus State of West Bengal (1997 (1) SCC 416), this court laid down certain
basic "requirements" to be followed in all cases of arrest or
detention till legal provisions are made in that behalf as a measure to prevent
custodial violence. The requirements read as follows.
The police personnel carrying out the arrest and handling the interrogation of
the arrestee should bear accurate, visible and clear identification and name
clear identification and name tags with their designations. The particulars of
all such police personnel who handle interrogation of the arrestee must be
recorded in a register.
That the police officer carrying out the arrest of the arrestee shall prepare a
memo of arrest at the time of arrest and such memo shall be attested by at
least one witness, who may either be a member of the family of the arrestee or
a respectable person of the locality from where the arrest is made. It shall
also be countersigned by the arrestee and shall contain the time and date of
A person who has been arrested or detained and is being held in custody in a
police station or interrogation centre or other lock- up, shall be entitled to
have one friend or relative or other person know to him or having interest in
his welfare being informed, as soon as practicable, that he has been arrested
and is being detained at the particular place, unless the attesting witness of
the memo of arrest is himself such a friend or a relative of the arrestee.
The time, place of arrest and venue of custody of an arrestee must be notified
by the police where the next friend or relative of the arrestee lives outside
the district or town through the Legal Aid Organisation in the District and the
police station of the area concerned telegraphically within a period of 8 to 12
hours after the arrest.
The person arrested must be made aware of this right to have someone informed
of his arrest or detention as soon as he is put under arrest or is detained.
An entry must be made in the diary at the place of detention regarding the
arrest of the person which shall also disclose the name of the next fried of
the person who has been informed of the arrest and the names and particulars of
the police officials in whose custody the arrestee is.
The arrestee should, where he so requests, be also examined at the time of his
arrest and major and minor injuries, if any present on his/her body, must be
recorded at that time. The "Inspection Memo" must be signed both by
the arrestee and the police officer effecting the arrest and its copy provided
to the arrestee and the police officer effecting the arrest and its copy
provided to the arrestee.
The arrestee should be subjected to medical examination by a trained doctor
every 48 hours during his detention in custody by a doctor on the panel of
approved doctors appointed by Director, Health Services of the State or Union Territory concerned.
Health Services should prepare such a penal for all tehsils and districts as
Copies of all the documents including the memo of arrest, referred to above,
should be sent to the Illega Magistrate for his record.
The arrestee may be permitted to meet his lawyer during interrogation, though
not throughout the interrogation.
A police control room could be provided at all district and State headquarters,
where information regarding the arrest and the place of custody of the arrestee
shall be communicated by the officer causing the arrest, within 12 hours of
effecting the arrest and at the police control room it should be displayed on a
conspicuous notice board." This court also opined that failure to comply
with the above requirements, apart from rendering the official concerned liable
for departmental action, would also render him liable to be punished for
contempt of court and the proceedings for contempt of court could be instituted
in any High Court of country, having territorial jurisdiction over the matter.
This Court further observed :
requirements mentioned above shall be forwarded to the Director General of
every State/Union Territory and it shall be their obligation to circulate the
same to every police station under their charge and get the same notified at
every police station under their charge and get the same notified at every
police station at a conspicuous place. It would also be useful and serve larger
interest to broadcast the requirements on All India Radio besides being shown
on the national Network of Doordarshan any by publishing and distributing
pamphlets in the local language containing these requirements for information
of the general public. Creating awareness about the lights of the arrestee
would in our opinion be a step in the right direction to combat the evil of
custodial crime and bring in transparency and accountability.
is hoped and accountability. It is hoped that thee requirements would help to
curb, if not totally eliminate, the use of a questionable methods during
interrogation and investigation leading to custodial commission of
crimes." More than seven months have elapsed since the directions were
issued. Through these petitions, Dr.
the learned Amicus Curiae, who had assisted the Court in the main petition,
seeks a direction, calling upon the Director General of Police and the Home
Secretary of every State/union Territory to report to this Curt compliance of
the above directions and the steps taken by the All India Radio and the
National Network of Doordarshan for broadcasting the requirements.
direct the Registry to send a copy of this application, together with a copy of
this order to respondents 1 to 31 to have the report/reports from the Director
General of Police and the Home Secretary of the concerned State/Union
Territory, sent to this Court regarding the compliance of the above directions
concerning arrestees. The report shall indicate in a tabular from a to which of
the "requirements" has been carried out and in what manner, as also
which are the "requirements" which still remain to be carried out and
the steps being taken for carrying out those.
shall also be obtained from the Directors of All India Radio and Doordarshan
regarding broadcasts made.
notice on respondents 1 to 31, in addition, may also be served through the
standing counsel of the respective State/union Territories in the Supreme
the reports are received, copies of the same shall be furnished to the Advocate
on Record for Dr. Singhvi, Ms. Suruchi Agarwal, Advocate.
reports shall be submitted to this court in the terms, indicated above, within
six weeks from today. The matters shall be put up on board for monitoring,
after seven weeks.