Extra judicial killings are the acts of violence which are carried out by law enforcement agencies without any judicial approval. This is usually carried out by the state to ensure what is called ‘instant justice’. This is generally a deviation from Rule of Law. Apart from criticizing these incidents people usually celebrate these killings.
Most of the time the politicians forming the part of government advertise such killings as badges of honor. From this one can sense that the general public is losing faith in the judiciary.These killing are not against Art 14 but also against Ar 21. These two being the fundamental rights of our constitution.
Rule of Law is a product of years of struggle of the people for the recognition of their intrinsic rights. The rule of law is existing from ancient times. Aristotle wrote that “law should be the final sovereign”.A.V. Dicey developed this concept in his book “The Law of the constitution”.
The basic principles of rule of law include Law is supreme, All things should be done according to law, There should not be any arbitrary power, Equality before law and equal protection of law must be there, Judiciary should be independent and abuse of powers shouldn’t be there.
Alarmed by the spate of extra-judicial killings happening in the country, the Supreme Court, in People’s Union for Civil Liberties v. State of Maharashtra (2014), said that “the ‘encounter’ philosophy is a criminal philosophy” because it affects the credibility of the rule of law. The Court laid down a number of guidelines for the prevention and investigation of such killings, including immediate registration of FIR in respect of such killings; independent investigation by the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) or the police force of a police station other than that involved in the extra-judicial killing, and headed by an officer ranked higher than the policemen involved in the incident; and simultaneous magisterial inquiry under Section 176 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). However, according to a fact-finding report by Citizens against Hate (CAH), a collective comprising public-spirited member of civil society, there is utter disregard in U.P. for the guidelines for investigation of extra-judicial killings laid down by the Supreme Court as well as the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). The report, published in May 2018, titled Countering the Silence — Citizens’ Report on Extra Judicial Executions in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, India undertakes, inter alia, a detailed study of 16 extra-judicial killings in U.P. since March 2017. The findings reveal that the FIRs registered by the U.P. police in respect of the 16 killings contain similar, if not identical, facts, and seem to be modelled on a fixed template. The sequence of events leading to the killings are identical, with names being the only difference. CAH’s interactions with the family members of the victims of these killings suggest that rather than being spontaneous acts of self-defence by police officers, these are premeditated acts of murder. The report also documents how investigations into these killings did not follow the Supreme Court guidelines. For example, none of the 16 cases was transferred to the CID for investigation; final reports under Section 173 of the Cr PC submitted to magistrates did not contain reports of forensic/ ballistics analysis; and in 11 out of the 16 cases, the family members of the deceased are not even aware about the magisterial inquiry being conducted, and their statements have not even been recorded by the magistrate concerned. The extra-judicial killings in U.P. show that the NHRC and the Supreme Court guidelines need a reworking. The only way to stem the rising tide of extra-judicial killings is to end the culture of impunity and punish police officers who resort to such extra-legal means. This is only possible if the investigation into such cases is independent and fair.
(Courtesy: “A chance to restore the rule of law” by The Hindu Published on 20 July 2020)
1. Sec 176 of crpc given in the above passage deals with:
a. Inquiry by magistrate
b. Inquiry by police officer
c. Inquiry by cid officers
d. Inquiry by E.D.
Rationale: In the above passage it is clearly stated that inquiry by magistrate falls under sec 176 of the crpc.
2. Why did the Supreme court observe “encounter philosophy is a criminal philosophy”?
a. Rule of law reliability is affected
b. It affects doctrine of separation of power
c. Rule of law remains unaffected
Rationale: ’a’ is the most suitable answer according to the passage
3. The author in the above passage is mainly concerned with the issue of?
a. Extra judicial killings in general
b. Extra judicial killings in U.P.
c. Both ‘a’ and ‘b’
d. Neither ‘a’ nor ‘b’
Rationale: A detailed reading of the passage will make you understand that the author is concerned about Extra judicial killings in general as well as in U.P. too.
4. Based on authors opinion in the above passage which of the following is correct?
a. Extra judicial killings are pre mediated acts of murder
b. Extra judicial killings are spontaneous acts of self defense by the police officers
c. The guidelines of supreme court are followed in a phase wise manner
Rationale: The author opines that Extra judicial killings are pre mediated acts of murder
5. What are the ways in which Extra judicial killings may be curbed?
a. NHRC and supreme court guidelines needs a reworking
b. By punishing the police officers resorting to extra legal means
c. By the partial investigation
d. Both ‘a’ and ‘b’
Rationale: According to the author extra judicial killing will only be curbed by various ways provided the passage including the above.