Right Against Handcuffing - Prem Shankar vs Delhi Administration Case Summary

Right Against Handcuffing - Prem Shankar Shukla vs Delhi Administration Case

In a landmark judgment (Prem Shankar vs Delhi Administration) Supreme Court added a projectile in its armoury to be used against the war for prison reform and prisoners rights. In this case the validity of some clauses of Punjab Police Rules were challenged as violation of Trinity i.e. Article 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India. Justice Krishna Iyer while delivering the majority judgment held that provisions that every under trial who was accused of a non bailable offence punishable with more than three years jail term would be handcuffed, were violative of articles 14, 19 and 21 of the constitution. Handcuffing should be resorted to only when there is a "clear and present danger of escape" breaking out the police control and for this there must be clear material, not merely an assumption. In special instances the application of iron is not ruled out. But even where in extreme cases, handcuffing is to be put on the prisoner, escorting authority must record simultaneously the reasons for doing so otherwise under article 21 of the procedure would be unfair and bad in law. This is implicit in article 21 which insists upon fairness, reasonableness and Justice in the procedure for deprivation of life and liberty.

Lordship justice Krishna iyer said "Handcuffing is prima facie inhuman and, therefore, unreasonable, is overharsh and at the first flush, arbitrary. Absent fair procedure and objective monitoring, to inflict 'irons' is to resorts to zoological strategies repugnant to article 21 of Indian Constitution.

Prem Shankar Shukla vs Delhi Administration Case is an important case law for UPSC Exam, University Exam for LLB and Lawyers.


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