Asian Centre for Human Rights

Dedicated to promotion and protection of human rights in Asia



I. Overview

Ruled by the Congress Party, National Capital Territory of Delhi witnessed serious human rights violations in 2004. Delhi Police in 489 surprise checks on its 127 police stations found the behaviour of the policemen in 103 police stations “not up to the mark”. About 130 policemen including one Assistant Commissioner of Police, four inspectors, 12 Assistant Sub-Inspectors, 32 head constables and 60 constables were found involved in criminal cases. [1]

In all the custodial death cases in 2003, the Delhi Police allegedly managed to bend the law to protect their guilty colleagues. In 2004, the situation remained the same. In the case of torture of one Rajan Sharma on 19 March 2004 at Sunlight Colony police post, no action was allegedly taken against the two constables despite a written complaint to the Station House Officer of the Srinivaspuri Police Station. [2] The Delhi High Court in an order in May 2004 summoned the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime), Sub-Inspector Praveen Kumar and his immediate Assistant Commissioner of Police for failing to initiate action against Sub-Inspector Praveen Kumar. The Sub-Inspector had picked up, detained and tortured Deepak Kumar, a teenager at Ambedkarnagar police station and got the victim admitted to Batra Hospital under a fictitious name to avoid any action. [3]

Despite the presence of the media, political leaders, National Human Rights Commission and the diplomatic community, law enforcement personnel ranging from Delhi Police to Railway Protection Force were responsible for arbitrary arrest, detention and torture. In August 2004, a 16-year-old street boy alleged that he was forced to indulge in “oral sex” with another 12-year-old as “punishment” by some policemen of New Friends Colony Police station. [4]

A woman was reportedly raped in Delhi every 24 hours in the first half of 2004. [5] The law enforcement personnel were also responsible for rape and other violence against women.

The Tihar Jail, effectively country’s show-piece for prison reforms also witnessed serious violations of the rights of the prisoners. An overcrowded prison with 12,610 prisoners against the sanctioned capacity of 5,050 prisoners, there were reports of torture, suicide and custodial deaths. [6]

NGO activists working on the Right to Information Act faced attacks from the criminals for exposing their misdeeds. The police often failed to take effective measures to stop recurrence of such attacks. [7]

[1] . 10,318 Complaints, 2,488 cops pulled up, The Hindustan Times, 6 January 2005

[2] . Boy who played cop before Charles beaten up by police, The Asian Age, 24 March 2004

[3] . Teenage torture case: HC blames police for inaction, The Times of India, 22 May 2004

[4] . Cop suspended for sodomy, The Hindustan Times, 25 September 2004

[5] . One woman is raped every 24 hours in city’, The Asian Age, 3 July 2004

[6] .

[7] . Social activist beaten up for complaining against criminals, The Tribune, 28 August 2004; Her throat slashed but not silenced, The Indian Express, 31 December 2004