Human Rights

Apex Court warns against fake encounters

New Delhi: Describing the fake encounters by the police as cold blooded murders the apex court sternly warned police officers of the consequences. Observing that such cases must be treated as rarest of the rare and the perpetrators should be hanged.

A bench headed by Justice Markanday Katju while hearing cases of ‘honour killings’ observed that fake encounters by police should also be considered of this nature and so deserve death penalty. It might be recalled that several prominent police officers of Gujarat are accused of involvement in the Soharuddin Shaikh case. Recalling Nuremburg cases the court reminded that in these cases the applications of the accused were not entertained and they were executed. The accused had pleaded during their post world war trials that they were simply carrying out the orders issued to them. The Supreme Court held that if a superior passed an order for a false encounter the sub-ordinate officer should refuse to comply with such an illegal order. If he did not do so he would be held guilty of murder and accordingly would merit the death penalty.
The court held that encounter mentality is a criminal attitude. Hence policemen should realise that gallows would be awaiting them should they execute such orders. The court held that fake encounters are killings by law enforcement authorities. If a layman commits a crime he deserves punishment but if a policeman commits such a crime he deserves sterner punishment for dereliction of duty.
MG News Desk

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 June 2011 on page no. 11

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