Posted on: November 19, 2020 Posted by: admin Comments: 0

Author : Nitya Sharma, Student at Manipal University Jaipur.

Co-Author : Nivedita Harsh, Student at Manipal University Jaipur.

ABSTRACT

Police brutality including encounters are a common practice in India. From police brutality witnessed in Jamia Milia Islamic University to killing of Vikas Dubey in an outlandish incident in Uttar Pradesh. There have been far too many co-incidences like such with the police forces where a runaway convict tries to flee is killed mostly in self -defense. But the penal law is such that there is no way to determine the authority of such extrajudicial killings. Most of them are allegedly said to have been staged. But what course the police force of a nation where court system is tried and leaden-footed. And no recourse remains in sight to apprehend criminals who either themselves are statesman or have upper hand connection with one. Is encounter by police justified when the government is involved, and the public sentiments praises loud for them. In such a scenario what is left of Rule of Law, which provides the supremacy of law above all. These killings defy the corner stone of our democracy- the constitution and the rights guaranteed therein. On account of the police encounters, hence, are not justified obstructing the path of Rule of Law.

Keywords : Police brutality, Encounter, Convict.

INTRODUCTION

On July 10th, 2020 the Uttar Pradesh police killed a deep-rooted gangster Vikas Dubey in an alleged encounter. The story transcribed by the police was nothing short of a dramatic movie. The accused was being transferred from Ujjain to Kanpur by Uttar Pradesh special task force. In the transit, vehicle carrying the accused was said to have been collapsed in an accident wherein the accused tried to flee away after snatching the pistol of one of the policemen. Supposedly, the task force stated that he was surrounded by them from all the sides and was demanded to surrender but Dubey in turn started shooting. In a self-defence counterattack the police ceased fire causing the gangster’s death.

This reoccurrence of events, which was previously seen and found in the screen play of popular cinema, has now became a predictable and frustrating plot numerous such incidents of  “police encounters” across the nation – an accepted euphemism for orchestrated and deliberate extrajudicial killings.

Incidents of harsh police brutality and impunity are prejudiced to India. A case akin to the above was recently witnessed in the United States of a man named George Floyd. The African American person died after suffering severe suffocation when a police officer knelt on his neck for 8 min 46 sec. The US was convulsed by nationwide protests concerning matters of racism and police brutality as a direct result of this incident.

Extrajudicial violence isn’t uncommon in India the collusion between the state and the security forces has been on the radar for decades in the last several years the lawlessness of police encounters has been questioned and debated by many. But what precisely is the status of law pertaining to extrajudicial killings aka encounters by the police.

The Supreme Court of India in its landmark judgment Peoples Union for Civil Liberties v. State of Maharashtra laid down that the “encounter” philosophy is a criminal philosophy, had warned policemen that they would not be excused for committing murder in the name of “encounter” on the pretext that they were carrying out the orders of their superior officers or politicians.[1]

The term came to be popular in the 20th century when Maharashtra police pounced on encounter killings as a way to deal with Mumbai underworld. What followed was a spike in the frequency of encounters by the security forces. According to the statistics presented by the National human rights commission (NHRC), a large percentage of these cases were improvised encounters. In the period between 2002-08 there were 440 cases of encounters in India. These numbers starkly shot up in 2009-10 when there were 555 encounter shootings by the police in just two years. According to a RTI demand documented with NHRC, it came into light that in the middle of 2000 to 2017, 1782 instances of phony experiences were enlisted in India out of which the State of Uttar Pradesh made 794 (44.55%). Since 2017, another legislature assumed responsibility in the State of Uttar Pradesh and the quantity of experiences has seen an incredible flood. The rise in numbers is not only alarming but also dubious. But the question that arises is – Are police encounters legal in India or are they at a constant fight with rule of Law.

LEGALITY OF EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLINGS IN INDIA

Police vigilantism has become increasingly popular. It is being used as a weapon in the hands of powerful corporates and politicians for fulfilling their personal vendetta. The police-political-criminal nexus that has prevailed in India has been highlighted again with recent encounter of criminal mastermind Vikas Dubey. Nonetheless, the shoddy story of the encounter has raised the eyebrows of the legal community. Where police raj has become intensely popular amongst the public and has been validated by collective public sentiment. The question that sparks a war of words is that “whether a democratic country should follow the constitutional norms and adhere to the due process of law or shall it adopt the measures of retributive justice to bring instant and speedy relief to the victims.” The method of attributing justice is often justified by the officers of law by contending that in the society there are some dreaded criminals with array of connections with the political forces and influential commonality against whom no one would dare to stand up or give any evidence against, thus the only way to tackle them is ‘fake’ encounters. The problem, however, is that this is a treacherous philosophy and can gravely misused. For instance, a political party leader wants to get rid a politician from the opposition he can bribe or threaten some unscrupulous policemen to bump off his rival in a staged encounter after declaring him a criminal.

The Supreme Court of India in Prakash Kadam v. Ramprasad Vishwanath Gupta, observed that ‘fake’ encounters are nothing but cold-blooded murders, and those committing them must be given death sentence, placing them in the category of ‘rarest of the rare’.[2]

Paragraph 26 of the abovementioned judgement stated

      “trigger happy policemen who think the can kill people in the name of ‘fake’ encounters and get away with it should know that the gallows await them”[3]

In law there is a doctrine that says that a person is innocent until proven guilty by the courts of law. The onus probandi falls on the prosecution to establish that the accused is guilty of the offence after examining all the evidence and proving the same before the court of law.

In D.K Basu v. State of West Bengal[4] the Supreme Court recognised the lacuna of disregarded abuse of police power. It further held that transparency and accountability of actions are two safeguards that must be asserted upon. Moreover, it is crucial to reinforce training and orientation for a better work culture which is consistence with morels. Efforts were thus needed to change the law with regard to the investigation of encounter cases, and active attempt needs to be made to change the attitude of the people with regard to encounter cases, there is a need to have an investigation.[5]

If the police are suspicious that a person has allegedly committed a crime, they have the right to file an FIR under section 154[6] of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to initiate investigation. While conducting the investigation the police officer has the power to take custody of the accused under section 46 of the CrPC[7]. Sub-section 3 of the above-mentioned provision states that nothing in this section rise to the right to cause death of a person, who is not accused of and offence punishable with death or imprisonment of life. It can be interpreted by implication that there remains a right to cause death of a person who has been accused of a crime punishable with death or imprisonment for life when he is trying to abscond from police custody.

Right of police to take Lives

The police have been vested with a right to take someone’s life solely under the below circumstances-

  1. For the sole purpose of self defence whilst exercising the Right to Private Defence- if being attacked by the accused or convict.
  2. For maintenance of peace and order in the state. Police can use force which can extend to causing of death where force is necessary to arrest or taking custody an accused of a crime punishable with death or imprisonment for life.

In 2010, guidelines made by NHRC[8] highlighted that the force used was not in proportion to the crime then it cannot be substantiated or if the killing falls outside the preview of the forementioned provisions it will be considered an offence and the concerned police officer would be held guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Law relating encounters in India

At present, no provision in Indian law exists that sanctions criminal encounters, albeit there are several provisions which, if interpreted widely, may enable the police to exercise such powers to maintain law and order.

Most cases of encounter occur, in self-defence of the police force:

Indian Penal Code under section 96[9] states that every person has a right to private defence it is an inherent right provided by the penal law of the country.

Accordingly, Code of Criminal Procedure through section 46[10], Indian Penal Code through section 100 and exception 3 of section 300[11] contain similar stipulations with respect to trial and inquiry of extrajudicial killings.

In an encounter if the police are found to be in the wrong, the police officer concerned will be charged under Section 299 of the Indian Penal Code[12] for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Moreover, a monetary amount in form of compensation must be provided to the family of the deceased in case of prosecution against him.

Supreme Court Guidelines

In the PUCL vs State of Maharashtra case (2014),[13] the SC was dealing with writ petitions questioning the genuineness of 99 encounter killings by the Mumbai Police in which 135 alleged criminals were shot dead between 1995 and 1997.

The Supreme Court of India stated the 16-point guidelines as mentioned hereinafter for the standard procedure to be followed for thorough, effective, and independent investigation to be conducted in the cases of death during police encounters:

  1. If at any time police receives any intelligence or tip-off related to any form of criminal activity which raises a suspicion of commission of serious criminal offence than that shall be reduced into writing or recorded into electronic form it is not mandatory that such recordings needs to reveal details of the suspect or the location of the suspected crime. Same may be done if the tip-off is received by a higher authority.
  2. A pursuant to any such tip-off or intelligence if an encounter take place by the use of fire arm by the police an as a result of that death occurs, an FIR shall be filled as forwarded to a competent court under section 157 of the IPC without any delay .
  3. An independent investigation into the encounter shall be initiated by the CID or a special police force team under the supervision of a senior officer the enquiry shall at the slightest fulfil the below requirements.
    • Identification of the victim
    • Recovery and preservation of evidentiary material
    • Identification of seen witnesses
    • Determine cause and manner
    • Figure-print analysis
    • Post-mortem
    • Evidence of weapons of death
  1. A magisterial enquiry into all cases of death occurred in encounters by the police must be mandatorily conducted and a report of the same shall be sent to a competent judicial magistrate under section 190 of the code. The enquiry must be conducted as per section 176 of the code.
  2. Information of the encounter and the investigation shall be given immediately to the NHRC. NHRC shall be involved if there is a suspicion about the impartiality of the investigation.
  3. Injured victim/criminal must be given medical health. A competent magistrate or an authorised medical officer shall record his /her statements.
  4. No delay must ensue in sending FIR, Dairy Entries, Panchnamas, Sketch, etc. to the competent court.
  5. After the conclusion of the investigation a report shall be forwarded to the court under section 176 of the code. The trial shall be conducted expeditiously.
  6. In the event of death, the family of the criminal must be informed as early as possible.
  7. Statements of all cases of encounters shall be forwarded to the NHRC at the disposal of the DGP every six months. The statements shall reach the NHRC by the 15th of January and July in the set format.
  8. If on the conclusion of the investigation it is found that death has been caused by the firearm used by the police officer, the disciplinary action against such officer must be prompted. For the time being he must be placed under the suspicion.
  9. Compensation should be given, in case of death to dependents of the victim under section 357 of the code.
  10. The police officers must surrender his/her weapons or any other material for forensic and ballistic analysis. His rights under article 20 of the constitution must be protected.
  11. The police officer’s family must be informed about the incident. If they require legal assistance same shall be provided.
  12. Out of turn promotion and instant gallantry rewards shall not be granted to the officers involved in encounter killings immediately after such occurrence such rewards must only be given/ recommended after the bravery of such officers is established beyond doubt.
  13. If the family of the victim claims that the above procedure has not been properly followed or and impartial and independent investigation has not been carried out then it may make a complaint to competent Judge having territorial jurisdiction over the place of the incident. Upon such complaint the concerned Judge shall scrutinized the merits of the grievance and address the injustice therein. [14]

In this case the Supreme Court of India directed that these guidelines must be strictly adhered to in all cases where grievous hurt or death had been caused by police encounters. It further, clarifies that these guidelines must be treated as law under Article 141 of the Indian Constitution.

NHRC Guidelines

In 1997 for the reason of increased complaints from the public and human rights activists opposing the incidents of fake encounters by the police, Justice M.N. Venkatachaliah highlighted that the police have not been vested with any right to take someone’s life, except under two circumstances:

  1. In case of the death is caused in the exercise of the right to private defence,
  2. In exercise of Section-46 of the CrPC which authorises the police to use force, extending up to the causing of death, as may be necessary to arrest the person accused of an offence[15] punishable with death or imprisonment for life.[16]

Bearing in mind this notion, the NHRC urged all states and Union Territories to ensure that the police forces of all states must follow the following set of guidelines in cases of encounter killings:

  1. Register: In the event of in-charge of a Police Station receiving information about the deaths caused in an encounter, he shall record such information in the appropriate register.
  2. Investigation: The information that is received shall be regarded as sufficient to suspect. Steps must be undertaken immediately for investigation into the relevant facts and circumstances leading to the death to ascertain, if any, offence was committed and by whom.
  3. Compensation: The dependents of the deceased shall be granted compensation where the police officers are prosecuted on conclusion of the investigation.
  4. Independent Agency: Whenever the police officers who belong to the same police station are involved members of the encounter party, it shall be appropriate that the cases for investigation are referred to another independent investigation agency, such as State CID.[17]

NHRC extended these guidelines in 2010 and added the following:

  1. Registering FIR: If a complaint is made against police officer alleging that he/she has committed any criminal act which is recognized as cognizable case of culpable homicide, an FIR must be filed under relevant sections of the IPC.
  2. Magisterial Probe: A magisterial enquiry must be conducted in all cases where death is caused in the cause of police action, such inquiry shall be conducted expeditiously, preferably within three months.
  3. Notification to Commission: preliminary reports of all cases of where death is caused by police action in all the states shall be submitted to the state commission. It shall be reported by the Senior Superintendent of Police/Superintendent of Police of the District within 48 hours of such death. A second report containing information like post-mortem report, findings of the magisterial enquiry/enquiry by senior officers, etc. must be submitted to the Commission within three months.[18]
LEADING ENCOUNTER CASES IN INDIA

Fake encounter cases are registered all over India. Police authorities take justice in their own hands which is offensive to the criminal justice system. A brief description of instances where police impunity in form of encounter were witnessed.

MAHARASHTRA

  • Ram Narayan Gupta case, 2006[19]

Ram Narayan Gupta alias ‘Lakhan Bhaiya’, who was an aid to gangster Chhota Ranjan was shot in 2006 by Mumbai police encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma. He was picked up from Vashi and allegedly killed in Varsova. In 2013 Mumbai sessions court convicted 21 persons, which included 13 policemen and held guilty of conspiring and kidnapping Gupta.

GUJARAT

  • Sadiq Jamal case, 2003[20]

The Gujrat police shot Sadiq Jamal, on information that he was planning an attack on then CM Narendra Modi and other top BJP leaders. CBI had an investigation and it was found that Jamal did not match the profile of reports of a plan to kill Modi and others. His past record included altercation in 1996 and arrest for gambling in 2002. Not only was Jamal shot dead by the police in a fake encounter but also the intelligence bureau played a major role in the killing.

  • Ishrat Jahan, 2004[21]

On 15th June 2004, the Gujrat police killed 19-year-old Ishrat Jahan and 3 others in the outskirts of Ahmedabad in an encounter. police claimed that all four deceased belonged to Lashkar-e-Taiba who had planned to kill then Gujrat CM Narendra Modi. Case was transferred to supreme court which handed it over to CBI which in turn filed a charge sheet against many police officers for their involvement in the alleged encounter.

TELANGANA

  • Hyderabad Gang Rape case, 2019[22]

Telangana police shot dead four men accused of gang-raping and burning to death a doctor in Hyderabad. The police said that they had to open fire in self-defense as the four men tried to escape while the crime scene was reconstructed.

TAMIL NADU

  • Veerappan, 2004[23]

In October 2004, controversial Veerappan, ill famed for kidnapping, animal poaching and sandalwood smuggling was killed in an encounter by the Tamil Nadu special task force. Veerappan was tricked into getting in an ambulance while he was on the run. It was claimed that the STF fired 338 bullets at the ambulance carrying Veerappan and 3 bullets hit him. However, the incidence was questioned by many because there were no bullet wounds in hu\is body and was directly shot in his eye and forehead.

MADHYA PRADESH

  • Bhopal Jail encounter, 2016[24]

October 2016, eight people associated with the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) escaped from Bhopal central jail and were killed by the state police. It is stated that the deceased were asked to surrender, but instead they began firing. As a result, police force was compelled to open fire even after that they did not surrender which caused their death. The incident was surrounded by many doubts but remain unanswered.

DELHI

  • Batla House, 2008[25]

The Batla house police shooting took place in Delhi 2008. It soon became a national sensational and there is even a movie based on the incident. On September 19,2008 Delhi police special unit conducted an encounter in batla house in Jamia Nagar and therein killed two suspected Indian mujahideen terrorist along with inspector Mohan Chand Sharma. An encounter specialist by the name of Sharma led the operation. Although he was only supposed to gather information from the residence of Jamia Nagar about the September 2008 blast in Delhi, but it escalated into 20 minutes shoot out. Numerous people questioned the veracity of the encounter and asserted that it was improvised. An investigation into the encounter was carried out by the National Human Rights Commission. A plea was also filed by the People’s Union of Democratic Rights, but a clean chit was finally given to Delhi police.

  • Pradeep Goyal encounter case, 1997[26]

In this case the two deceased along with one other victim were attacked by the police when they were inside the car. The police personnel surrounded the victim’s car and fired from all sides killing Pradeep Goyal and Jagjeet Singh instantaneously and causing grievous injuries to Tarunpreet Singh. It was allegedly claimed by the police officer who led the encounter that he had received information that Mohd. Yaseem was at the place of the crime and that the deceased matched his profile. The incident was surrounded by many claims that it was a fake encounter. Consequently, the court held that the police officers were guilty and convicted them under section 302 and 32 of the IPC. The defendants contented in the court that they acted in good faith and in due discharge of their duty. This contention was rejected by the court and it further chastised the state government for not taking actions.

RAJASTHAN

  • Raja Man Singh Case,1985 [27]

On February 21,1985 Raja Man Singh then titular head of Bharatpur erstwhile princely state in Rajasthan along with his two associates thakur Hari Singh and thakur Sumer Singh were shot dead by Mathura police. The encounter took place a day after Raja Man Singh allegedly battered his military chief on to a stage which was setup for an election rally of chief minister Shiv Charan Mathur. The jeep also managed to damage a chopper kept on the site for the CM. On July 2020, the special bureau of investigation of court in Mathura convicted the 11-policeman involved in the shootout. The former Deputy superintendent of police Kan Singh Bhati along with his man were sentenced to life imprisonment.

THE CONCEPT OF RULE OF LAW IN THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION

Rule of law was adopted from England by the founding fathers of our nation and numerous other provisions were consolidated in the Indian Constitution. The Constitution is viewed as preeminent and no person is above Indian Constitution. Rule of law is embodied in the preamble and the doctrine is revered in Part III of the Indian Constitution.

If there should be an occurrence of infringement of such rights, one can move toward Supreme Court or High Court under Article 32 and 226 of the Indian Constitution. The Constitution of India is enhanced with the standards of law for example equity, uniformity and freedom. Any law made by the Central government or State government must be gone along as per the Constitution of India. On the off chance that any law made by the governing body negates with the arrangements of the Constitution then such law will be announced void.

The alleged killings are against the fundamental provisions engraved in our Article 14 and 21 of our constitution. Article 14 lays down Rule of law that implies supremacy of law above anything else. Article 21 states that every person has the Right to live and The Right to Personal Liberty in accordance with the procedure established by law.

“No man is above the law” each man, regardless of whether he is from a higher position or whether his position is exposed to standard law under the purview of the common court. No man will be deprived of his personal property until the time he has violated any law built up by the ordinary court. Article 14 of The Constitution of India additionally state that “Each Man is equal before the law, nobody is above”. Extra juridical killings by security forces or the military are allegedly done in self-defence but the increasing familiarity of these killings specially in states like Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra has everyone questioning its legality.

Finishing exemption and guaranteeing unprejudiced nature in trials ensuing to death on account of the police are simpler said than accomplished in some contention hit districts. As the Supreme Court itself has brought up, one can’t be unaware of the way that the police in India entails to play out a controversial task, particularly any place where fanaticism and sorted out wrongdoing have taken solid roots. Notwithstanding, it has likewise noticed that even such perpetrators must be administered by the police in a proficient and viable way and dealt with by observing the Rule of law.

Human rights activists, judicial persons and conscientious advocates have started a petition against the supreme court of India. They are soliciting an impartial probe into the offensive encounter killing of the dreaded criminal Vikas Dubey. Rightly arguing about the cardinality of ‘Rule of law’ in a democratic nation.

On the contrary such killings invoke enthusiasm and jouissance amongst the general public specially raging in all forms of media, electronic as well as social, bestowing accolades to the trigger-happy security force, notions are even raised that rapists and murderers should be exterminated through lynching in public primary cause for this positive acclamation police work is attributed to the lumbering and tired judicial system which for most people is in extremis. A thorough analysis of rule of law and encounter behaviour is need of the hour.  It is critical to determine which of the two wrestling views warrants approval of constitutional provisions and due process of law.

JUSTIFICATION OF POLICE ENCOUNTERS

The prime contention in support of retributive justice is that the statutory institutional body of justice administration is essentially moribund. A governed society can barely sustain the burden of such a barbaric method of punishment. Common people tend to follow practical wisdom rather than institutional rules. Least to say, it cannot be contested that the unquestionable delay of courts is a prominent factor which compels the common men and the police to take the law into their own hands. The grind of every criminal trial is extensive and seemingly endless thus it becomes impossible for a mere mundane to carry out the trial judiciously. This explains the need of having ‘fast track courts’ to prioritize and categorize various offences. Grave offences like murder, rape and narcotic offences require speedy disposals.

‘The Hindu’[28] dated 16-08-2014 carried a news article reporting the Independence Day speech of former chief justice of India Justice R.M. Lodha observing that the time-consuming justice process itself was a punishment. The chief justice remarked as follows-

“A curious and tragic paradox is our prison’s house more under trial prisoners than convicts. In almost all central prisons, more than 50 per cent are under trial prisoners; in district prisons more than 72 per cent are under trial prisoners. The process itself has become a punishment.”

Despite the arguments in support of police encounters and the factual data condemning the criminal justice system police encounter behavior in its core cannot be an appropriate form of punishment. The truth is that such encounters are in fact not clashes at all but cold-blooded murders by the security forces. For an orderly society state sponsored anarchy in the mask of ‘fake encounter’ by the officers of law is certainly not a welcome requisite and cannot prove to an appropriate reaction for a crime. It cannot stand as a replacement of law and order. The process of law might be crucial and tiring but it is the procedure established by law which is enshrined in our constitution, deflecting from this path is not only violative of basic fundamental rights given under section 14 and 21. But also normalizes police impunity.

Not only in India police brutality in its many terrorizing forms exists everywhere in the world. Police violence is a leading cause of death for men in the United States a superpower nation, a country where police brutality is common. The law pertaining to specifically extrajudicial killings is provided in United States.

Torture Victim Protection Act, according to section 3(a)[29] of the act-

A deliberate killing not authorized by a previous judgment pronounced by a regular    constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples. Such term, however, does not include any such killing that, under international law, is lawfully carried out under the authority of a foreign nation.”

The legality of extrajudicial killing has been questioned numerous times in the court of law. Most prominently death of Osama Bin Laden in 2011 and killing of Qasim Salvimani in 2010 have been debated not only nationwide but worldwide. Government of the United Nations defended by claiming that the killings were not a bare assassination but an act of “National Self Defence”. As many as 2500 assassinations by 2015 have been classified and questioned as being assassination by the state. Further on September 12,2020 President of United States of America apparently encourage state-sanctioned extrajudicial killings in an interview with a news channel ‘fox news’. He said in reference to the killing of Michael Forest Reinoehl and Aaron J. Danilson, suspected mass murderers, that “this guy {Reinoehl} was a violent criminal and the US. Marshall killed him …. And I will tell you something that’s the way it has to be”[30]

These accounts show that extrajudicial killings in its way exist even where the criminal system is known to be exemplary- speedy and efficient. Even though these killings are glamourized by the print as well as social media and even in some cases by the Presidents of nations. Nevertheless, police encounters or brutality defy the very core of a democratic society where the law governs everything.

CONCLUSION

Execution of power shall be dispensed within rule of law. Fake encounters are not desired revenge for the criminals but merely a mockery of law. It puts in jeopardy the entirety criminal justice system and challenges the credibility of rule of law. In a civilized world, improvised encounter can never be a substitute for the process of conviction through trial. The concept of separation of power into three branches: the legislature, executive and judiciary is established for a prudent reason. If the officers of law or policemen would take on the functions of judiciary, then the entire structure of democracy will collapse.

Utilitarian theory does not work in a democratic nation like India. This theory wherein morality of an action depends on its consequences meaning any action is justified if the end results is utmost happiness. An analysis od utilitarianism can be applied in case of encounters especially that of Vikas Dubey. Where the encounter might actually result in death of a criminal who otherwise would have escaped. But if this theory is put in action then democracy can not prevail. Equality before law and equal protection of law are the pillars on which are democracy stands tall. If practices like encounter behavior are given a green flag by the government and the public then protection of the constitution becomes paradoxical. Moreover, if encounter behavior prevails then the already existing and toxic police-politician-criminal nexus will take on a much uglier form. Exploitation of such loopholes in penal law is inconsequential if strict consequences will not prevail.

Extrajudicial killing in the form of staged encounters is a brutal vilification of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution under article 14 & 21 which provides the Right to Equality and protects the Right to Life and Personal Liberty which also extends to convicted felons or accused persons for that matter. Every person is entitled to a fair and impartial trial and the Supreme Court has stated that any state action which is against the principles of natural justice violate fundamental rights granted by the state. In committing fake encounters, the police take the role of judiciary and the executioner which deprives the accused the right of having a fair trial, thereby disregarding the principle of audi alteram partem. Fairness, justice, and reasonableness constitute the essence of a fair trial guaranteed by the provisions enshrined in our constitution.

The justice administration system and the police force call the major alterations. Expedient and efficient trial for convicted felons of a serious offence is the need of law. Crucial amendments shall be made and established so to restore public’s faith in the justice system and prevent the need to take the law in their hands.

REFERENCES

[1] Peoples Union for Civil Liberties v. State of Maharashtra 10 SCC 635 [2014].

[2] Prakash kadam v. Ramprasad Vishwanath Gupta [2011]SC 1174-1178 (2011)

[3] Prakash kadam v. Ramprasad Vishwanath Gupta [2011] SC1174-1178 (2011)

[4] D.K. Basu v. State of West Bengal, 1 SCC 416 (1997).

[5] D.K. Basu v. State of West Bengal, 1 SCC 416 Para 29, page 433 (1997).

[6] Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, No. 2, Acts of Parliament, 1974

[7] Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, No. 2, Acts of Parliament, 1974

[8]In Depth: Encounter- Supreme Court Guidelines, Drishti IAS (Dec 24, 2019), https://www.drishtiias.com/loksabha-rajyasabha-discussions/in-depth-encounter-supreme-court-guidelines.

[9] Indian Penal Code, 1860, No.45

[10] Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, No. 2, Acts of Parliament, 1974

[11] Indian Penal Code, 1860, No.45

[12]Indian Penal Code, 1860, No.45

[13] Peoples Union for Civil Liberties v. State of Maharashtra 10 SCC 635 [2014].

[14] Peoples Union for Civil Liberties v. State of Maharashtra 10 SCC 635 [2014].

[15] The Hindu, 2014

[16] Nhrc.nic.in (2020), https://nhrc.nic.in/sites/default/files/CasesOfEncounterDeaths.pdf

[17] Nhrc.nic.in (2020), https://nhrc.nic.in/sites/default/files/CasesOfEncounterDeaths.pdf

[18] Nhrc.nic.in (2020), https://nhrc.nic.in/sites/default/files/CasesOfEncounterDeaths.pdf.

[19] Prakash Kadam v. Ramprasad Vishwanath Gupta, 6 SCC 189 [2011]

[20] India: A pattern of unlawful killings by the Gujarat police: Urgent need for effective investigations, (2007), https://www.refworld.org/pdfid/465bfbbd2.pdf.

[21] Ishrat Jahan & Ors vs The Union of India & Ors No. 9643 on 17 July 2017, (2017).

[22] The Economic Times, all 4 accused in Hyderabad rape-murder case killed in encounter: Telangana Police Read more at: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/all-4-accused-in-hyderabad-gang-rape-murder-shot-dead/articleshow/72393178.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst, 2019, https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/all-4-accused-in-hyderabad-gang-rape-murder-shot-dead/articleshow/72393178.cms.

[23] The Government of Tamil Nadu, … vs Mrs. Muthulakshmi And the Joint … on 2 March 2006, CriLJ 2412, 2006 (2) CTC 285, (2006) 3 MLJ 160 (2006).

[24] Abdul Rashid vs The State of Madhya Pradesh on 22 December 2016, W. P. No.20370/2016 (2016).

[25] Shahzad Ahmed vs State on 9 February 2018, CRL.A. 1196/2013 (2018).

[26] Satyavir Singh Rathi, Assistant Commissioner of Police and Ors. V. State through Central Bureau of Investigation, 6 SCC 1 (2011).

[27] THE HINDU, 2020

[28] (The Hindu, 2014)

[29] Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991 (Enrolled as Agreed to or Passed by Both House and Senate), n.d.

[30] Fox News (online), 2020

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