Ashok K. Johri vs State Of West Bengal

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Case Analysis on Shri D. K. Basu, Ashok K.

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Johri vs State Of West Bengal, State Of U.P. Introduction This case Shri D. K. Basu, Ashok K. Johri vs State Of West Bengal, State Of U.P. was decided on 18 December 1996 in the Supreme Court of India, is a writ-petition which was earlier written as a letter to Chief Justice of India for drawing his attention towards the increasing deaths in police lock-ups and custody but later converted into a Writ-Petition on 9 February 1987 as it was an issue of a great concern for the nation. This case is a landmark judgment which thrashes out the problem by discussing many cases involving the same concern and provides many guidelines to rectify the same. Mainly involving Section 220, 330 and 331 of Indian Penal Code, which talk about the punishment of the officer authority for wrongful confinement and inflicting injuries for getting out the information. “Sec 220- Commitment for trial or confinement by person having authority who knows that he is acting contrary to law. Sec 330- Voluntarily causing hurt to extort confession, or to compel restoration of property. Sec 331- Voluntarily causing grievous hurt to extort confession, or to compel restoration of property.”[1] Background One more letter was written to Chief Justice of India for drawing attention towards a death of one Mahesh Bihari of Pilkhana, Aligarh in the police custody which was added under the case of D. K. Basu. This particular case involves many areas of law, areas being Constitutional Law, Indian Evidence Act, Tort Law etc. but it is discussed from the point of view of Criminal Law in this project. Custodial violence includes both, torture and death in the lock-ups. The thing which shocks here is that, how the people who are supposed to be the law protectors turn out to be the law breakers. It is not only the body pain but also the mental trauma which is inflicted upon the victim’s mind whether is it physical assault or rape in the police custody which is the infringement of our Article 21 and 22 of the Constitution of India as the Fundamental Right of ‘Right to life’ is being provided even to the people in the police custody. Exercise of third degree base is mainly done at the time of interrogation and investigation to get the information out of them. In this case, this problem of custodial violence has been discussed from many aspects as to how are the innocents beaten to death even in the custody of the police? How the manipulation of facts and accounts is done? How are the officers using their legal duty for their malicious motives? And how are they still not been able to get any punishment for it?

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