Saturday, January 17, 2015

'Chandran’s death makes IPCMC imperative'

1:34PM Jan 17, 2015

By Terence Netto

'Chandran’s death makes IPCMC imperative'

The malignancy of custodial deaths and the urgency of action to prevent its recurrence has reached a stage where the government can no longer evade the issue, said a DAP leader.

DAP national vice-chair M Kulasegaran said the findings of coroner Ahmad Bache in the 2012 death of lorry driver Chandran Perumal while in police custody, was the “latest confirmation that custodial deaths are a malignancy to which the government can no longer be callously indifferent”.

“The recommended remedy is the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), but this was mothballed due to opposition from senior police officers who have not resorted to at least the courtesy of seeing that such cases recur to mar the image of the force as a rights-sensitive and accountable body,” remarked the Ipoh Barat MP.

Kulasegaran (left) said that it seemed not even the stinging judicial rebukes - contained in the opinion of Justice V T Singham in the notorious M Kugan case in 2013 - appeared to be chastening enough to compel the force to adhere to minimum standards of decency in the treatment of criminal suspects in custody.

Alluding to Singham’s 2013 judgment in the Kugan case, he said the judge had urged the force to put an end to “horror stories” in police lock-ups.

Kulasegaran cited Singham’s opinion that “custodial death should not become the rule of the day,” as a warning to the force that it was taking its apathy towards the phenomenon to an extent that was inhuman and callous.

Quoting the judge’s scalding comments further, to wit, “It is a heinous crime perpetrated by the custodians of law,” Kulasegaran added that the government could no longer evade the moral necessity of setting up the IPCMC.

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