BY- NEHARIKA KRISHNAN
CURRENT SITUATION ( Hyderabad Encounter Killings )
Leading lawyers who have fought numerous cases to uphold women’s rights have criticised the Hyderabad Encounter Killings and demanded an independent judicial probe into it. They have also cautioned against eulogising such extra-judicial killings, saying they help the state and police rid themselves of accountability while dealing with crime. When the country rejoices and congratulates the police and State for its instant justice and reciprocative action to brutality against women, distracts public and shadows the actual problem. After the news of the encounter broke, public, activists and news channel started analysing the encounter details. As few applauded the action, advocates and women activists started presenting a rational and legal perspective to the issue. In a Facebook post, senior advocate Vrinda Grover urged people to “Say no to trigger track injustice!” She said the encounter killing was “absolutely unacceptable”. Grover sounded a word of caution, saying: “So all that the state will do in the name of ensuring that women live as equal and free citizens is to add to its arsenal of unlimited arbitrary violence!”. The Supreme Court advocate said that the apex court has “directed that in every encounter case – there must be an FIR registered against the police and an investigation”. So, she also demanded, “an independent judicial enquiry into this `encounter’”. With the words “No Investigation, No Prosecution”, Grover also stated that “these killings distract the public and save the police and state from any accountability.” Another senior advocate, Rebecca Mammen John, tweeted that there should be “No police ‘encounter’ in the name of women.” And even assuming they had committed the crime, there is a process to be followed. If that is abdicated, you could be next.” Karuna Nundy too wrote about the necessity of following the due legal process and tweeted that with the encounter, “nobody will ever know if the four men killed by the police were innocent men…”
CONCLUSION ( Hyderabad Encounter Killings )
The judicial interpretation of the said action was extra-judicial execution which was illegal. Most of them believed that the encounter surpasses the justice system and it was the destruction of the rule of law. Unlimited arbitrary violence is not the need of the hour. Strengthening judicial system, stringent legislation and curbing rape and brutal activities against women is the need of the hour. Such encounters can’t be done in the name of women. For years, activists and public have a put in efforts to make the country safer and ensure, not just prescribe, the right to live with dignity to women guaranteed under Article 21. It is based on the judiciary that anyone until proven guilty, is accused and hence can’t be prosecuted or punished without following the defined system. The laxity in the system cannot be an excuse for promoting arbitrary violence and term it as justice. Justice has been served in this country with lower courts adjudicating rape cases within 4 to 5 days, the sentencing death penalty to convicted in Nirbhaya case. Justice served is being interpreted with its execution that again is blatant ignorance and violation of the defined system. Article 14 clearly states equal protection of law i.e. not just the victims but the accused are to be protected by law as well. Assessing the facts of this case, the said encounter happened under circumstances that in itself raise many doubts like conducting of investigation at an odd hour, taking brutal action on unarmed men who were under custody thus case more inclined towards custodial death rather than an encounter, sleeping during the golden hour of evidence, refusing to register an FIR, when the young vet was alive and majorly even if guilty, must follow a defined procedure. The affirmation can be given on the loopholes and laxity in the judicial system to an extent but surpassing the system does more harm than good. The lost faith of the public in the judicial system is majorly due to the irrational and illegal outlook of the police and many political entities considering it to be ‘instant justice’. It promotes the thinking of retributive mob injustice that is an antithesis to democracy. Even if considering the encounter as an igniting candle that takes a step ahead against brutality faced by women in this country, the aftermath can’t be claimed to pose a positive impact on society.