Custodial deaths: a retrospective study in Mumbai region

AUTHOR(s) : Jawale SM, Bhise SS, Wagh RR
DOI No. :

Introduction: The word custody implies guardianship and protective care. Even when applied to indicate arrest or incarceration, it does not carry any sinister symptoms of violence during custody. Preventing torture in custody and ensuring strict compliance of its guidelines in custodial deaths is one of the important agendas on the NHRC’s list. Sudden and unexpected death in custody is commonly associated with allegations of torture against law enforcement agencies. Aims: This study is done to find out the commonest cause of death in custodial death in Mumbai region and its relation to age, sex, manner of death, hospital stay and time interval between death and post-mortem. Materials and methods: This study was carried out retrospectively at Sir JJ Hospital in Mumbai region. 95%, males and 5% females who were died in custody were studied retrospectively for one year and data was analyzed using SPSS. Results: In this study 95% were males and 5% were females. A most common cause of death is Pulmonary Tuberculosis (42%), followed by hanging seen in 11.6% cases. The natural cause was in 79% case and un-natural in 21% cases. Conclusion: The majority of deaths in custody are due to natural causes, improper medical facilities could be an important aggravating factor. Providing healthcare facilities, equivalent to that available in the community is one of the most important remedial measures.

Keywords: Human rights; jail; prisoners.

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