"The NHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that in an alleged case of theft, a five-year-old boy was severely tortured by police in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh," said a statement from the NHRC.
It added that "the boy, a student of Class 1, was picked up by police personnel on February 2 in Lucknow and was subjected to severe torture, including electric shocks to his ears".
The victim bore injuries behind his ears when he was presented before the Juvenile Justice Board.
However, police denied the allegations and said that the victim was beaten up by people before being handed over to them.
The Juvenile Justice Board has ordered the boy's immediate release on bail.
The NHRC observed that the media reports, if true, raise a serious issue of violation of human rights.
It has issued a notice to the senior superintendent of police, Lucknow, to submit a report within four weeks.