Hyderabad: There have been 100 cases registered in connection with deaths in police custody, and another 1,840 in judicial custody across the country in 2020-21. While Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest number of deaths, followed by West Bengal, Telangana registered a case in respect of a death in police custody and as many as 22 in judicial custody, according to an answer supplied in the ongoing Lok Sabha session.
Telangana recorded one of the lowest numbers custodial deaths in the country.
What is judicial custody and police custody?
In the case of police custody, the accused in the police and lodged in a police station lockup, judicial custody means that he or she is in the custody of a magistrate and is kept in jail. Police have to produce the accused before a magistrate within 24 hours of the arrest.
The data was a response to Parliamentarians P P Chaudhary, Arjun Lal Meena, Aparajita Saranji and Ranjeet Singhrao Naik Nimbalkar who sought information by means of an unstarred question in the Lok Sabha on the number of custodial deaths in India in the last three years.
Custodial deaths in UP
Expectedly, the highest number of custodial deaths, both in police and in judicial custody were recorded in Uttar Pradesh. While there were eight cases registered in connection with deaths in police custody, as many as 443 cases were registered in respect of deaths in judicial custody. West Bengal recorded eight deaths in police custody and 177 deaths in judicial custody.
While the number of custodial deaths in Telangana are significantly lower than those recorded in several states, including Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, and Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, they have increased marginally as compared to last year, but significantly as compared to 2018-2019.
While there were no cases registered of deaths in police custody and nine cases of deaths in judicial custody in 2018-19, the number of deaths in judicial custody rose to 21 the following year, and to 22 in 2020-21.