BACKGROUND IN BRIEF
The 27th of November sends a shockwave across the country when it was revealed that a 26-year-old veterinary doctor was abducted, gang-raped, Muderd and her body were set on fire in Hyderabad, after two days of intense public pressure the four accused were arrested and confessed to the crime as per police. In early hours of December 6 the nation woke up to the news that the four accused were gun down in an encounter, on the scene of the crime these accused got into a scuffle and stole arms in retaliation the police open fire all the four accused, as per police statement, after the whole incident the police was treated like a hero and showered by flower petal by the locals, even Nirbhaya’s mother who is still waiting for the justice to come at their home steps welcomed the encounter.
On the other hand, many in the judicial and human rights fraternity have called the encounter an extrajudicial killing and now the supreme court has formed a three-member panel to probe the encounter. Staying all other investigations and other courts not to entertain the plea. The panel will be headed by former supreme court judge V.S. Sirpurkar, former High court Judge Rekha Baldoota and EX- CBI Chief DR Karthikeyan they have six months’ deadline to complete the probe, the big question emerges over the encounter is the needle of suspicion now on the Hyderabad police.
INTRODUCTION- SC orders a judicial enquiry into Hyderabad police encounter.
The court is not indicating it is a fact that they call it an encounter but the whole thing smacks of the extra-judicial killing, we are not living in a police state and we can never be a trigger-happy nation, today it has happened to a so-called rapist and in future, it can happen to anyone. There is a clear direction given by the national human right commission given as early as 1997 then 2003 & 2010 as to what is to be done in such cases, Even if the police say it was self-defence there is a way, they are not supposed to shoot through the head and kill and firstly it is unbelievable that ten policemen and these four men are able to overpower the ten policemen who obviously must have gone armed who obviously must have been prepared that they are taking the accused somewhere its totally unbelievable and whatever the investigation result we will have to wait patiently and hope for good.
And in any way, we cannot celebrate this act we are not a trigger-happy nation we are not expecting this in any way the rule of law must prevail. There is a certain unanswered question why were they taken to a public place without handcuffs, why were they taken to the scene of the crime at night there is a standard operating procedure which they should have followed that in case the alleged accused were trying to run away then why were they not shot below the waist, and more so the death has occurred when they were in the custody of the law. The right to private defense must in proportion to the threat or hazard a person faces. Section 206 of IPC and Section 46 of CRPC as an also elaborate directive of the human right commission of 2010 and supreme court directive of 2014 of justice Lodha and justice Nariman elaborating about what all needs to be done. every encounter is suspicion till the judicial scrutiny is over. A judicial inquiry is mandatory to clear all the suspicion.
WHAT IS JUDICIAL ENQUIRY? / LEGAL PROVISIONs
A judicial enquiry is set up by the government, under the Inquiries Act 2005, to investigate events that have or could cause public concern. They can be led by one person or a panel, who take evidence in the form of documents and oral testimony regarding the events in question. Often, the inquiry will be chaired by a currently serving or a retired judge.
The focus of an inquiry is first to determine exactly what happened, and then to work out what must be done to prevent it from happening again. At the end of this process, the inquiry will produce a report detailing the key factual findings and any recommendations. Public inquiries do not have the power to say that a particular person is liable for acts they have committed, but these findings of fact may be used to initiate criminal or civil proceedings.
These inquiries are, by definition, public, but the chairperson does have the power to restrict attendance or access to particular documents if necessary. A person who has played a role in the matters being investigated, or has a ‘significant interest’ in them, or who might be criticized for their conduct can, with their consent, be designated a ‘core participant’ by the inquiry. Core participants can be awarded funds to pay for legal representation, and their lawyers may be permitted to ask questions to other witnesses who give evidence. The legal provision for such enquiries has been led down in law commission on the judge’s enquiry bill,2005.
- ACID ATTACK ENCOUNTER CASE IN 2008
Cyberabad Commissioner Sajjanar, who was hailed by many as a hero on Friday for the killing of four men accused in the gangrape and murder of a Hyderabad veterinarian, was superintendent of police in 2008. The story began in Warangal on December 10 that year when two engineering student was attacked by the acid on their face by three people riding motorbike this incident was also led by the same police officer who has led the case of the veteran doctor’s rape and the encounter and the clarification had been in a similar way.
- ISHRAT JAHAN CASE IN 2004 LED BY CBI ENQUIRY
Ishrat Jahan, a 19-year-old student from Mumbra was abducted, sedated, confined and brutally killed by the Gujarat police. Ishrat, a 19-year-old woman from Mumbra near Mumbai, was killed on June 15, 2004, along with Javed Shaikh, Amjadali Akbarali Rana, and Zeeshan Johar, by the Gujarat police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. The police claimed they were terrorists who had plotted to kill then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi. However, an investigation by a special investigation team set up by the Gujarat high court established that the encounter was staged. The Supreme Court later handed over the case to the CBI, which filed a charge sheet against several Gujarat police officers for their involvement in the crime.
There has been a lack of faith in criminal justice system in the mind of people after the Nirbhaya case in 2012 and till now they are waiting for the justice same as in Unnao case I fully appreciate the pain of these people and the reaction but the police of the country should not lose faith on the judiciary and take it upon them to punish the culprit they are the law enforcement they cannot take law into their own hand the pain and agony is understood according to Chief justice of India “ justice loses its character when it becomes revenge” . and what Hyderabad police did was also the act of revenge the failure to protect the girl they failed to act when her parents came to them. Police don’t work on emotion police works on constitution mandate and rule of law and we don’t have option we cannot neglect the system. The frustration of society cannot be neglected but we need to have faith in the constitution. The main point of notice is that we are focusing only on the encounter but there is another phase where the police failed to perform their duty and it is a very negligent act by the police which is not acceptable. The time they would have registered the F.I.R there could have been a ray of hope of survival of the victim.
So, Basically, the encounter made by the police is against the procedure of law and for any such encounter it is very essential for a judicial enquiry and here the needle of suspicion is on the head of the cop that the encounter was in private defence and the circumstances have been in favour of the police. NCRB Data says that in 2017 out of 46,984 registered cases 5,855 were convicted (in which accused were convicted) 86.6% rape charge could not be proved the conviction rate is a mere 32.2% . This encounter led numerous question in the mind of people which could only be answered after the enquiry is completed, the reactions of people after the encounter some were happy some people had questions- The young woman sister said “the killing would have been deterrent” so that it set an example for other people, Shashi Tharoor said ” extrajudicial killing is not acceptable” BJP leader Maneka Gandhi tweeted “she slammed the police and said “horrifying precedent” Rekha Sharma (national commission for women) “she was happy that the accused were dead but the justice should have been through a proper legal channel”.
This article is authored by AYUSHI PANDEY, student of B.A.LL.B (Hons) at Maharaja Sayajirao university of Baroda, Vadodara Gujarat.
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