//Govt. will compensate custodial crime victims: Patil

Govt. will compensate custodial crime victims: Patil

New Delhi, March 31 (PTI): The Government has decided in principle to give compensation to victims of custodial violence, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil said on Thursday.

"The International Court of Justice has suggested that victims of violence be compensated. This suggestion has been accepted in principle by the Government," Patil said in his inaugural address at a seminar on `Custodial Justice’ organised by the NHRC and PRAJA, an NGO.

A committee would be formed and help of the judiciary will be taken in this regard, the Minister said here.

Patil said the Government has also introduced a Bill in the Parliament providing for State compensation to victims of custodial violence.

Patil, however, said the number of deaths, rapes in custody and disappearances of arrested persons have gone down.

He said the steps that had to be taken to curb custodial violence included changes in the laws, introduction of new advanced technologies in investigation such as biometrics and genetics and sensitisation of the police personnel as well as the public.

Patil also said that more stress should be laid on circumstantial evidence rather than the account of witnesses.

"Circumstances do not lie, witnesses can," he said, adding that the police should make arrests only when absolutely necessary.