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
- Public Support:
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
- Political Support:
Many leaders project encounter numbers as their achievement in maintaining
law and order.
the action of police is often awarded
- Ineffective Institution:
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.
- Hero Worshiping:
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
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.
- Registering FIR:
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.
- Independent Probe:
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.
- Inform NHRC:
the NHRC or State Human Right Commission must be informed
- Prompt Action:
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
In 2010 NHRC realized that most of the states are not following the
guidelines, so it further suggested:
- Register FIR:
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.
- Independent Agency:
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.
- Magistrate Probe:
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.
- Reporting commission:
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
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
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.?Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Ashish Dash
Authentication No: AP33712030844-18-0421