SRINAGAR: Counsel for the three railway policemen facing trial in the murder of Owais Bashir Malik, an engineering student from Peer Bagh, Srinagar, have complained to court against police’s practice of handcuffing the accused.
The three lawyers have moved a joint application before the judge at Budgam District Court against the practice, which has been banned by the Supreme Court of India.
“The police have to give compensation to our clients for handcuffing them. The Supreme Court guidelines allow them to ask for compensation and we are following the procedure,” one of the lawyers told Kashmir Reader. He didn’t wish to be named.
The Supreme Court has clearly stated: “We declare, direct, and lay down as a rule that handcuffs or other fetters shall not be forced on a prisoner–convict or under trail–while lodged in a jail anywhere in a country or while transporting or in transit from one jail to another or jail to court or back.”
“In all the cases where a person arrested by police is produced before the magistrate and remanded to judicial or non-judicial custody–is given by the magistrate the person concerned shall not be handcuffed unless special orders in that respect are not obtained from the magistrate at the time of the grant of the remand,” it has said.
Yet, the accused railway policemen as well as the main accused in the case, Ishaan Majeed, were brought to and taken away from the court handcuffed.
On May 17, Molvi Aijaz, who is representing one of the three, tried to draw the court’s attention towards the practice, saying, “Why are my clients brought handcuffed? Is the police so incompetent that it cannot take care of them?”
When contacted by this reporter, the police officers concerned avoided talking about the issue.