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  • Delhi

    1. Overview.. 1
    2. Human rights violations by the security forces. 2
    a. Violations of the right to life. 2
    b. Arbitrary arrest, illegal detention and torture. 3
    3. Violence against women. 4
    4. Violations of the rights of the Dalits. 4
    5. Violations of the rights of the tribals. 5
    6. Violations of the prisoners' rights. 5
    7. Violations of the rights of the child. 6
    a. Juvenile justice. 6
    b. Child labour 7


    1. Overview

    Ruled by the Indian National Congress party, National Capital Territory of Delhi continued to witness serious human rights violations including custodial deaths, rape, etc by the Delhi Police. At least four civilians were killed in police firing during a bandh against sealing by Municipal Corporation of Delhi at Seelampur in North Delhi on 20 September 2006.[1]

    In a rarest of rare cases, on 15 December 2006, a Fast Track Court awarded capital punishment to Mr R P Tyagi, former Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), for torturing Mahender Kumar to death at the Vivek Vihar Police Station in East Delhi in 1987.[2]

    In 2005, more than 300 policemen were either dismissed from service or suspended for breaking laws and close to 1,600 policemen were censured. Of these, at least 87 were found involved in criminal cases.[3]

    Violence against women were common. As per the data of Delhi Police, over 650 cases of rape and molestation were reported as of 22 June 2006. In June 2006, a four-year-old girl and an 80 year-old woman were raped.[4]

    The rights of the prisoners in Tihar and Rohini jails continued to be violated. The jails remained overcrowded resulting in problems of inadequate wards, lack of cleanliness, hygiene, bathing space and sleeping berths.

    The police seldom respected the rights of the juveniles and often subjected them to beating, illegal detention or other forms of cruelty.

    According to a report prepared by A. Pathak, the Registrar General of the Delhi High Court, there were 14,221 inmates (out of these 11,578 were under-trials) in Tihar jail against the sanctioned capacity of 6,250 inmates.[5] A performance audit of the management of jails in Delhi from 2000 to 2005 prepared by Comptroller and Auditor-General of India stated that despite acute overcrowding, there were delays in finalising proposals for construction of new jails by the  jail department.[6]

    There were three vacancies of judges in the Delhi High Court by the end of December 2006 and 117 vacancies in the District and Subordinate Courts as on 30 September 2006. While there were 81,670 cases pending with the High Court of Delhi, a total of 6,55,245 cases were pending in the District and Subordinate Courts as on 30 September 2006.[7]

    2. Human rights violations by the security forces

    a. Violations of the right to life

    The Delhi Police personnel were responsible for gross human rights violations including extrajudicial killings, rape, torture, etc.

    There were reports of custodial deaths. On the night of 17 April 2006, Nazar, son of Aas Mohammed, was allegedly killed in Mongal Puri police station after being picked up by the police from his house. He was stabbed with knife and his body was thrown at a dumping ground near the police station.[8]

    On 6 October 2006, Inder alias Bengali allegedly died of torture in Mayur Vihar police station in East Delhi after his arrest on the previous night. However, the police claimed that the deceased died a ‘natural death'. An inquiry by Assistant District Magistrate was ordered into the case.[9]

    In some cases of custodial deaths, the court intervened and awarded punishment, ordered inquiry etc.

    On 15 December 2006, a Fast Track Court awarded capital punishment to Mr R P Tyagi, former Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), for torturing Mahender Kumar to death at the Vivek Vihar Police Station in East Delhi in 1987. The court also sentenced Mr KP Singh, Assistant Commissioner of Police (retired) to one year rigorous imprisonment for refusing to lodge an First Information Report (FIR) despite direction by a Sub-divisional Magistrate, and three years rigorous imprisonment to Inspector Tej Singh for manipulating the records of the case. Mahender Kumar and his friend, Ram Kumar were held for causing minor injuries to a couple. Though Ram Kumar managed to escape from the hospital, the police allegedly eliminated him after some time.[10]

    In yet another case of alleged custodial death, in May 2006, the Delhi High Court ordered to probe the circumstances under which Mohd Ziiyauddin allegedly committed suicide by falling off the second floor of Mehrauli police station in November 2005 and to register an FIR.  An inquiry by the District Magistrate of South Delhi  stated that Ziyauddin's suicide case could have been a custodial death as several questions remained unanswered in the case.[11]

    The police allegedly refused to register FIR in certain cases of custodial deaths. In August 2006, a division bench comprising Justices R.S. Sodhi and P.K. Bhasin of the Delhi High Court directed the Delhi Police to file an FIR into the custodial death of a 19-year-old man who was found dead at the Adarsh Nagar Police station after arrest on 13 September 2005. The police claimed that he committed suicide inside his prison cell.[12]

    Innocent civilians were killed in alleged fake encounter. On 31 July 2006, two innocent civilians - Zulfikar and Nazakat of Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh were killed by Delhi Police in an alleged fake encounter in Timarpur area in North Delhi. Four police personnel identified as Assistant Sub-inspector Pramod Tyagi, constables Ashok, Suraj Pal and Sudesh Rana were dismissed in connection with the killing.[13]

    The police also resorted to indiscriminate use of firearms to control agitating mobs. On 20 September 2006, four innocent civilians were reportedly killed in police firing during a general strike against sealing by the municipal authorities that turned violent at Seelampur in North Delhi.[14]

    b. Arbitrary arrest, illegal detention and torture

    In 2005, more than 300 policemen were either dismissed from service or suspended and close to 1,600 were censured. Of these, at least 87 were found involved in criminal cases.[15]

    On 16 June 2006, Anup Kumar Juneja was allegedly abducted by police officials and beaten up with rods, sticks, fists and feet at Lajpat Nagar police station as he was suppose to depose in a sessions court with regard to a case against the Delhi Police.[16]

    On the night of 3 July 2006, Manjeet Singh was badly beaten up with batons by two inebriated police constables Pawan Kumar and Dharamveer at her house in Sultanpuri area. Those including a 60-year-old lady who tried to intervene were also assaulted by the policemen. On 6 July 2006, the Delhi Commission for Women registered a case against the two police constables in the case.[17]

    3. Violence against women

    Women continued face violence at home and abroad. Delhi earned infamy for gang rape of women in moving cars. As per the data of Delhi Police, over 650 cases of rape and molestation were reported as of 22 June 2006. In 2005, 642 cases of rape and 741 cases of molestation were registered by Delhi Police.[18]

    The police themselves were responsible for committing crimes including rape and molestation.

    On the night of 21 June 2006, 23-year-old woman was reportedly raped by Sub-Inspector K B Jha attached to Crime Branch of Delhi Police after forcing her to drink alcohol at Rohini's Sector-16 in North-west Delhi. A medical examination had confirmed sexual assault on the woman. The accused policeman was dismissed from service.[19]

    4. Violations of the rights of the Dalits

    The National Crime Records Bureau recorded 21 cases of atrocities against the Dalits in 2005. These included 20 cases registered under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and one case under Protection of Civil Rights Act.

    In September 2006, two Dalit students of the country's premier medical institute, All India Institute of Medical Sciences were subjected to castiest remarks and other forms of harassment by senior students due to their caste.[20]

    5. Violations of the rights of the tribals

    The funds meant for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SC/STs) were grossly misused or underused.

    The Delhi Government utterly failed to use the funds meant for the welfare of the SC/ST/OBC/Minorities students. As per records available with the Department for Welfare of the SC/ST/OBC/ Minorities, the State Government had not only failed to use the funds available to achieve its target for the year 2005-2006, but also very little fund had been spent for the welfare of the students. As a result funds in many schemes had lapsed. The Delhi Government had spent only Rs 74 lakhs against the revised outlay of Rs 5.33 crores under the scheme for free supply of stationary to SC/ST/OBC/Minorities students in Schools till January 2006. Only 18,040 students were benefited as against the targeted 74,000 students under the scheme. The same was the case in some other scholarship schemes including  Open Merit Scholarship Scheme.[21] Besides, about 20% (nearly 2,000 seats) SC/ST seats for admission reportedly remain vacant every year in Delhi University.[22]

    6. Violations of the prisoners' rights

    Tihar jails and Rohini jail remained overcrowded resulting in problems of inadequate wards, lack of cleanliness, hygiene, bathing space and sleeping berths.

    In August 2006, Delhi High Court directed the Delhi Government to build new jails to solve the problem of overcrowding in 10 Delhi jails, out of which nine are in Tihar and one is in Rohini. According to a report prepared by A. Pathak, Registrar General of the Delhi High Court, there were 14,221 inmates including 11,578 under-trials in Tihar jail against the sanctioned capacity of 6,250 inmates.[23] Eight prisoners were lodged against the capacity of only three persons in one prison cell.[24]

    Detention of prisoners who failed to pay the bail bond even if they were granted bail by the court contributed to overcrowding. In June 2006, the Home Ministry had notified the Criminal Procedure Code Amendment 2005 which entitles an undertrial, other than one accused of an offence for which the death penalty is prescribed, to be released with or without surety if he has been under detention for more than half the prescribed period of imprisonment.[25]

    A performance audit of the management of jails in Delhi from 2000 to 2005 prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India stated that despite acute overcrowding, there were delays in finalising proposals for construction of new jails by the department. For instance, a new jail at Mandoli did not come up as on March 2006. The land was acquired for the purpose in 1981 and expenditure of Rs 1.51 crore on earth filling and consultancy fees had been incurred. Similarly in Narela and Baprola, the matter was pending with the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) even though the payment had been made to the DDA. Despite a huge expenditure on security, control over entry of prohibited items seemed to be inadequate with 363 incidents of discovery of prohibited items every year. Besides, the security staff posted at the gate were not equipped with any instrument to detect explosives. The report also said that despite the existence of a fairly well equipped hospital within the jail premises, 884 prisoners were referred to outside hospitals even for common ailments entailing avoidable costs as well as risks.[26] Tihar jail authorities claimed that there were eight doctors.[27]

    The prisoners were subjected to torture in Tihar jail. According to the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association who visited the Tihar jail, Kashmiri detainees were subjected to third degree torture, forcible sexual intercourse, made to drink urine instead of water and denied medical treatment and legal help.[28]

    Alleged suicides in the Tihar jail were routine occurrence. On 10 November 2006, an undertrial Sanjay Babu allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself using a bed sheet from the ceiling of his cell in Tihar jail.[29]

    7. Violations of the rights of the child

    a. Juvenile justice

    The provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children), 2000 was often violated. According to the law, during trial delinquents should be kept in an Observation Home separately from hardened criminals and in special homes after conviction. But the juvenile delinquents often had to share prison cells with adult prisoners. In December 2006, the NHRC sought comments from the Delhi Government on a media report that 13 juvenile delinquents were sent to Tihar jail. The Social Welfare Department of Delhi Government failed to create any place of safety for convicted juvenile delinquents despite repeated reminders by the Tihar Jail authorities and a notice by the Juvenile Justice Board. There were only two observation and special homes in Delhi as in December 2006. Both the homes were overcrowded.[30]

    The police personnel were responsible for many cases of torture and other atrocities against children.  On 30 January 2006, 15 street kids were reportedly beaten up for half-an-hour by some inebriated policemen including Rajender, Om Prakash and Maan Chand posted at the Yamuna Bazaar and the Kashmere Gate area while sleeping at the pavements. Three children had suffered severe injuries.[31]

    On 16 June 2006, five children, all below 12 years, were allegedly subjected to cruelty, beating and not provided food inside the lock-up after being illegally detained by the Vasant Vihar police on the complaint of Rajya Sabha MP Mahender Singh and his gatekeeper. On 23 June 2006, the National Human Rights Commission sought a report from Delhi Police Commissioner K K Paul.[32]

    b. Child labour

    Child labour was rampant in Delhi. Children aged between 7 and 14 years were trafficked from Bihar to work in illegal embroidery factories in Delhi. These children were made to work over 10 hours, kept in dingy rooms and given two meals a day. According to conservative estimates, around 50,000 children were working in illegal factories in Delhi. In September 2006, 53 boys were rescued by police along with Delhi-based NGO Bonded Labour Liberation Front from a zari factory in Kilokari in Defence Colony.[33] Again on 28 December 2006, 50 child labourers were freed by a local NGO, Bachpan Bachao Andolan.[34] However, there was little opportunities for rehabilitation of the rescued children by the State Government.


    [1]. Bidhuri demands judicial enquiry into police firing, The Hindu, 22 September 2006 

    [2]. Death for former police officer, The Hindu, 16 December 2006 

    [3]. 1,900 policemen faced action for breaking law last yr, The Times of India, 23 June 2006

    [4]. 2006: year of rape and molestation, The Statesman, 23 June 2006

    [5]. New jails to end overcrowding, The Asian Age, 24 August 2006 

    [6]. No reforms in Tihar to better inmates' lives, The Asian Age, 22 March 2006 

    [7]. Court News, October-December 2006, The Supreme Court of India

    [8]. Man 'dies in custody' The Statesman, 19 April 2006 

    [9]. Man dies in police custody, The Tribune, 7 October 2006 

    [10]. Death for former police officer, The Hindu, 16 December 2006 

    [11]. Court orders probe into 'suicide' at police station, The Times of India, 26 May 2006 

    [12]. Police directed to file FIR, The Statesman, 24 August 2006 

    [13]. 4 policemen sacked for Ghaziabad 'encounter', The Asian Age, 11 August 2006 

    [14]. Bidhuri demands judicial enquiry into police firing, The Hindu, 22 September 2006 

    [15]. 1,900 policemen faced action for breaking law last yr, The Times of India, 23 June 2006 

    [16]. Man beaten at police station, cops deny, The Statesman, 19 June 2006 

    [17]. UNSAFE CITY - Drunk police beat woman, The Hindustan Times 7 July 2006 

    [18]. 2006: year of rape and molestation, The Statesman, 23 June 2006 

    [19]. Cop held for raping 23-yr-old, The Indian Express, 23 June 2006 

    [20]. Dalit students 'abused' at AIIMS, The Times Of India, 12 September 2006 

    [21]. Funds for SC/STs not used properly, The Asian Age, 13 March 2006

    [22]. 20% of 9,000 SC, ST seats in DU vacant, The Times of India, 11 April 2006

    [23]. New jails to end overcrowding, The Asian Age, 24 August 2006 

    [24]. Tihar bursts at seams: 8 prisoners share cell for 3, Hindustan Times, 10 September 2006 

    [25]. For want of Rs 5,000, over 100 inmates languish in Tihar, The Indian Express, 3 September 2006

    [26]. No reforms in Tihar to better inmates' lives, The Asian Age, 22 March 2006

    [27]. Tihar fails to make use of 294 educated inmates, The Asian Age, 21 January 2006

    [28]. "Kashmiri detainees in Tihar facing abuse, torture", The Hindu, 19 February 2006

    [29]. Undertrial commits suicide  Tiliar jail, The Statesman, 11 November 2006

    [30]. NHRC seeks comment from Delhi - Govt on juvenile in Tihar jail, The Kashmir Times, 9 December 2006

    [31]. Identification parade by policemen, The Asian Age, 1 February 2006

    [32]. NHRC notice to police on kids' torture, The Tribune, 24 June 2006 

    [33]. Rescued, child workers cannot believe they are free, The Hindustan Times, 8 September 2006

    [34]. Indian NGO Frees 50 Child Laborers, The Indian Express, 29 December 2006

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