NHRC notice to the Government of Madhya Pradesh over reported illegal detention an torture of four juveniles in police custody in Tikamgarh

New Delhi, 7th May, 2022

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that that four juveniles have been illegally detained in police custody on suspicion of theft in Tikamgarh district of Madhya Pradesh since 30th April, 2022. The news report also reveals that the juveniles have been chained by the police and there are injuries on their bodies indicating that they are being subjected to torture by the police.

The Commission has observed that, the contents of the media report, if true, amount to gross violation of the victim children. The juveniles cannot be detained in a police station. Even if, the police believed that they committed a crime they should have been given in the care of juveniles police unit or a designated child welfare police officer. The juveniles should have been produced before the Juvenile Justice Board within 24 hours of their arrest and they are not supposed to be chained in any case.

Accordingly, notices have been issued to the Government of Madhya Pradesh through its Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police calling for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks including present status of the case before the Juvenile Justice Board and medical condition of the juveniles and the identification of the delinquent police official for flaunting law by infringing inalienable and unfiltered human rights enshrined in Commission and in Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

According to the media report, carried today on 6th May, 2022, till date the arrest of these minor boys has not been mentioned in the police record. As per news report, they have been picked up on the basis of the footage of the CCTV on a complaint of theft of Rs. 1.5 lakh from a branch of the State Bank of India.