New Delhi, Sep 5: With great power comes great responsibility, the famous Spiderman line was quoted by the Supreme Court of India while sentencing 9 Maharashtra policemen in connection with a case of custodial death.
The cops were sentenced to 7 years in jail in a 1993, custodial death case. A Bench headed by Justice N V Ramana quoted the Benjamin Parker line in the Spiderman series and enhanced the sentence from 3 to 7 years which is the maximum sentence under the charge of voluntary hurt order in order to extract confessional statements.
In 2007, the High Court had sentenced the policemen to 3 years in jail, but the SC noted that the punishment meted out was grossly insufficient.
As the police in this case are violators of law, who had the primary responsibility to protect and uphold law, thereby mandating the punishment for such violation to be proportionately stringent so as to have effective deterrent effect and instil confidence in the society," the Bench observed.
Such incidents usually tend to deplete the confidence in our criminal justice system much more than those incidents involving private individuals.Those, who are called upon to administer the criminal law, must bear in mind that they have a duty not merely to the individual accused before them, but also to the State and to the community at large, the court also said.
The case on hand dates back to June 1993, when a police team comprising an assistant police inspector, sub-inspector and constables had picked up one Joinus in connection with a robbery case. According to the prosecution, he was picked up from Deolapar's town in Nagpur and was tortured so as to extract confession.