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Report No. 113

3.3. Need for amendment.-

It appears that the best course would be to give power to the court to draw a presumption where bodily injuries (fatal or otherwise) are caused to a person while he is in the custody of the police. The court may be given a discretion to presume that the injuries were caused by the police officer having custody of the person during the relevant period. The vesting of such a power in the court would be justified because, as regards a person in police custody, it is unlikely that any one else would have the opportunity of inflicting injuries. The presumption should, of course, be discretionary and rebuttable so that extraordinary situations can be taken care of. The formula "may presume" would be appropriate for the purpose. At the same time, it may be desirable to furnish to the court some guidelines in administering such a provision as the proposed provision would be a qualification to the general rule of burden of proof.

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