Recently, we saw Vikas Dubey a gangster was killed by the Uttar Pradesh Police in an encounter [extra-judicial] killing. However, many experts raised question on the encounter and demanded a judicial enquiry into the matter.
Right To Police
The police force has the right to injure or kill the criminal for the sole and only purpose of self- defence or wherever necessary for the maintenance of peace and order. Under Section 96 of Indian Penal Code [IPC], every human being has right to private defence which is a natural and an inherent right. Section-46 of Criminal Procedure Code [CrPC] authorities the police to use force, extending up the cause of death, as may be necessary to arrest the person accused of an offense punishable with death or imprisonment for life.
Reason Behind Increase In Extra-Judicial Killings
It emerges out of faith in judiciary because many believe that the court will not provide timely justice. The fact of getting away with cold-blooded murder is the key reason behind police getting bolder by the day and killing at will.
Many leaders project encounter numbers as their achievement in maintaining law and order.
The action of police is often awarded
The work under National Human Right Commission have been redundant to take matter and even the upper judicial authority lacks in taking suo moto cognizance.
Police becomes hero as police sees them cleaning the society by killing alleged criminals’ recent example in Vikas Dubey, killing victim of Ayesha Miran rapist in Andhra Pradesh.
The constitution makers of India wanted a country to governed by the rule of law, as per which Constitution is supreme power in land. And either it is legislative and executive derive their authority from the Constitution and as procedure established by law for criminal investigation which is derived under Article 21 as Right to Life and Personal Liberty it cannot be taken from any person thus police should not withhold anyone right either innocent or criminal person.
Supreme Court Guidelines
In PUCL v. State of Maharashtra, 2014 SC was dealing with the writ petition questioning the guidelines under 99 encounters killing by Mumbai Police in which 135 criminals were shot dead between 1995 and 1997 then SC gave new guidelines:
Record tip-off [intelligence] regarding criminal activities pertaining to commission of grave and criminal offence.
If in pursuance of tip-off police uses firearms and this result in death of person then on FIR initiating proper criminal investigation must be registered and be forwarded to court without delay.
Investigation must be done in this case by CID or police team for other police station under supervision of senior officer. It has 8 minimum investigation requirements like identity of victim, recovery and pressure evidence material, identity scene witnesses etc.
The NHRC or State Human Right Commission must be informed immediately.
Amounting to an offence under IPC disciplinary proceeding must be initiated against the police officer found guilty of wrongful encounter and for time being officer was suspended. The courts said this requirement must be seriously followed in all cases of death and grievous injury by declaring them unlawful under Article 141 of the Indian Constitution.
In March 1997, Justice M.N. Venkatchaliah [head of NHRC] asked all states and Union territories to ensure police follow the guidelines in case of encounter killing.
When in charge of Police Station receive information about the death in an encounter, he shall record the information in the appropriate register.
Received information shall be regarded as sufficient to suspect and immediate steps must be undertaken to investigate the relevant facts and circumstances leading to the death so as to ascertain if any offence was committed and by whom.
It is generally granted to the dependent of the deceased when police officers are prosecuted on the basis of result of investigation.
When the police officer of certain police station are member of encounter party, it is appropriate that the case for investigation are referred to some sorts independent agency such as state CID.
In 2010 NHRC realized that most of the states are not following the guidelines, so it further suggested:
A magisterial enquiry must be held in all cases of death which occurs in the course of police action, as expeditiously as possible, preferably within three months.
All death in police station shall be recorded to Commission by Senior Superintendent of Police within 48 hours of such death and second report must be sent to Commission within 48 hours by providing information like post mortem report, finding the magistrate enquiry by senior officers etc.
Encounter killing must be investigated independently as they affect the credibility of rule of law. There is need to ensure that there exists a rule of law in the society that needs to be adhered to buy every State authority and the masses. Ensuring proper physical custody of the accused in order to prevent any attack by them on the police personnel. Further, there is dire need for complete overhauling of the criminal justice system and bring them out require police reforms.
Standard guidelines need to be laid down to better train the police personnel and equip them with all relevant skills so that can efficiently tackle every dreadful situation. Human right angle needs to be kept in mind while dealing with arrested individuals.?
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