Here is your essay on The Bar against Hand-Cuffing in India.
The prisoners are quite often handcuffed while being brought from prison to court and vice versa for the sake of security and discipline. Even suspects and under trials are subjected to this humiliating treatment.
However, the Supreme Court, in Prem Shankar Shukla v. Delhi Administration observed that, “handcuffing is, prima facie, inhuman and therefore, unreasonable and harsh and at the first flush arbitrary….to inflict ‘irons’ is to resort to zoological strategies repugnant to Article 21”. The Court pointed out that where in extreme cases the accused is to be handcuffed; the escorting authority must inform the court and record reasons for doing so. It is only after getting judicial approval that handcuffing should be resorted to.
Earlier, in 1978, the Supreme Court in Sunil Batra and Sobraj’s case, was seized with the question of legality of prison bars and fetters on undertrials and held that handcuffing was violative of Articles 14, 19 and 21 and be used only in exceptional cases, that too with the prior judicial sanction. The two petitioners in this case were Sunil Batra, an Indian under death sentence and Charles Sobraj a French national, an undertrial facing detention under MISA from July 1976 and accused of jail-break and other serious charges.
The Court held that locomotion is one of the facets of personal liberty and therefore, should not be curtailed as far as possible. However, where absolutely necessary, handcuffing should be only for small spells and grounds for ‘fetters’ shall be given to the prisoner and recorded with due approval of the judicial authority.