THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY N. SETHU KIRAN A STUDENT OF V.R. LAW COLLEGE.
Law and Order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that blocks the flow of social progress — Martin Luther King. Jr
In a democratic country like India, where the law and order plays an important role in the administration of the society. Law and order acts as a base to the society for protection and infringement of rights. For maintaining the law and order police are acting as guardians of society. But the police are degrading the values of the justice by misusing the power; the police should be act like law enforcers but not like law breakers. The police must win the confidence and faith of the people, but they are losing the faith from people by doing the acts like extra judicial killings like encounters etc .
FACE OF FAKE ENCOUNTERS:
In our society where judicial system are chronically slow, the police system acts like monopoly and choose the option of extra judicial killings for eliminating the criminals. A fake encounter means a fake or staged encounter, when the police or armed forces kills the suspect when they are unarmed or in custody and the police claims that there are shoot out carried in the self defense using this type of extra judicial functions are outbreak of law. In such encounters police may plant weapons and other evidence near the dead body to provide justification for killing. The police officer who did the encounter are came to be known as encounter specialists . In extra judicial killings the victims were usually young males. The victims are usually with individual criminal background. In extra judicial killings, nearly 60% of all the cases are registered from Uttar Pradesh. In these killings there should be misappropriate use of force. The police officers believed that these killings delivered speedy justice. The most of encounter are fake but there is also very small proportion of genuine encounters in self defense .
LEGAL FRAME WORK:
Encounter killings is violation of Article 21 of the Indian constitution, Article 21 gives right to protection of life and personal liberty. The rights guaranteed by Article 21 is available to every person and even the state has no authority to violate that right, the court said that it was not the duty of the police officer to kill the accused merely because he is a dreaded criminal. In our laws the police do not have any right to take away the life of another person, subjected that if he commits the offence, he would be liable under culpable homicide or murder. In Indian laws there is also another provision which the police officer can justify the causes of death of person under section 46 of criminal procedure code. According to that section 46 of Cr.p.c, police can use all necessary force to effect arrest .
Supreme Court issued some elaborate guidelines of encounter deaths:
In all cases of encounters deaths there should be mandatory of filing of first information report and investigation done by CID or independent agency.
No officer shall be given out promotion or reward or award for encounters operation till inquiry is complete and found out genuine.
If the magisterial inquiry is completed if the officer found guilty he should proceeded according to law .
LEADING CASES OF FAKE ENCOUNTERS:
In India, emblematic cases of fake encounter killings by the police started in 1990’s to cripple the underworld and extortion racket in Mumbai. Some of the fake encounter cases are here.
Pilibhit District Fake Encounter, 1991:
In 1991 Pilibhit district of Punjab state, 11 sikhmen killed in three encounters at single night. One of the bodies of those victims cannot be recovered. In this case Special CBI court orders 47 policemen held guilty of killing, 10 sikhmen awards life imprisonment .
Ishrat Jahan Case, 2004:
Ishrat Jahan Raza, a woman of 19 year old and other three were shot dead outside Ahmedabad by Gujarat police. Gujarat police claims to acted upon the intelligence input received by Ahmedabad police commissioner K.R Kaushik that javed was coming with two fidayeens in a blue indica to kill chief minister Narendra modi. Ishrat mother, kauser files a petition in Gujarat High Court seeking a CBI investigation into the alleged fake encounter. CBI takes over the case and arrested the police officer involved in the case and concluded that the fake encounter as result of Joint Operation in Gujarat police and Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau of Ahmedabad .
Red Sandal Woods Smugglers Encounter, 2015:
In Andhra Pradesh 20 sandalwood smugglers shot dead by Anti Smugglers Task Force in the seshachalam forest in chittoor district. The police claimed that they attacked with stone and sickles and axes we warned them several times but did not stop attacking us. In self defense we fired them. Some human activist said that there are burn marks and bullet injuries in the chest which fired in close range. Some of witness said that some of those killed were pulled off a bus by police men .
According to the National Human Rights Commission there are 1,654 cases registered for encounter deaths at the hands of police from 2004-2014. It is relevant to note that there is no provision in Indian laws directly authorizing the encounters of criminals. Most of the encounters are taking place in self defense of the police officers. Are the policemen using the right to self defense to cover up or justify the encounter deaths? Mostly the fake encounters would get away by using advantage of loop holes in the judicial system. Undoubtedly in India most of the encounters alleged to be fake, by using the right to private defense in s.100 of Indian Penal Code policemen are fabricating the encounter as real. Does police eye witness can uphold in encounters? In many cases, police are not treated as eyewitness to the alleged encounters because in place of encounter no individual is present; the most of the encounter are taken place in outskirts of city. What section of people mainly suffered by this encounters? The victims who suffered in encounter are mainly from financially backward people and communal backward people like Tribal people etc . what is the role of National Human Rights Commission eliminating the encounters? National Human Rights Commission is a quasi judicial organization for preservation of basic human rights established by law. But National Commission is toothless commission when they don’t have adequate power. So powers should be vested in them. What are steps to be taken to eradicate the functioning of extra judicial killings? Mainly to stop functioning of the encounters people should be aware of the laws and needed greater education and more legislation should be amended. If crimes are committed by ordinary people, the punishment is awarded likewise if the offence is committed by police the drastic punishment must be imposed do that type of actions which is contrary to law. Is in society really safe with encounters especially dealing with terrorists? Sometimes countering the terrorism to defend the general public (or) to defend themselves in spontaneous circumstances is justifiable .
The practices of extrajudicial killings are increasing year by year. The increasing incidence of extrajudicial killings in India demonstrate that the government has failed to take steps for prevention of this killings and failed to ensure the adequate investigation of all complaints land report of the encounters. Indian judicial system also contributes the climate of impunity because of entrenched problems . Killings the people in the name of law and order and in the same of self defense is absolutely violating the right of life, the victims tends to loose the faith in the law.