File Copyright Online - File mutual Divorce in Delhi - Online Legal Advice - Lawyers in India

Indian Laws Matter: Rising Arbitrary Arrests And Extra-Judicial Killings

Seventy-four years of Independence and still the Raub of Khaki Vardi hasn't sunk an inch. Lack of legal education has led many Indians to suffer extreme hardships in the past, and to this day, while you're reading this, someone somewhere in India is being arrested in a fake case, and someone fears a fictitious encounter at the hands of merciless police officers.

Arbitrary arrests and extra-judicial killings aren't new to the Indian winds; they have been here for a while and have perished the whole Justice System and crushed the dream of fundamental human rights.

Let's talk about the recent Farmers Protest. In her statement, the director at Human Rights Watch, South Asia - Meenakshi Ganguly, said

'The Indian authorities' response to protests has focused on discrediting peaceful protesters, harassing critics of the government, and prosecuting those reporting on the events.'

And there is a reason why she is making such statements.
A 22-year-old Climate Activist, Disha Ravi, was arrested in the famous tool-kit case and was released on bail after spending nine days in police custody. The court stated that the Delhi Police tried to link Disha to the 26 January violence but could not cite any evidence to back their claim! Further, the court took note that despite arresting and interrogating over 150 persons for the incident, the Police could not produce a single piece of evidence against them.

I'm astonished and shocked at the mere audacity of the Police. I mean, how could you arrest a 22-year girl, put sedition and other heinous charges on her, and couldn't prove a single damn thing in the court! I mean, don't they fear losing their jobs!? It couldn't be a simple mistake! They did it intentionally to scare the protestors! And this wouldn't have been possible if the Police didn't have political support. And this worsens up the situation. Because now the arbitrary arrests aren't just a matter of Police not doing their work truthfully, it also clarifies that the whole system is wrongfully using its powers, and democracy is at stake.

And Disha wasn't the only one who suffered an unreasonable and unlawful arrest. There were hundreds of protesters and journalists arrested, tortured in police custody, and faced baseless criminal charges. What makes it even more terrifying is that this was a big protest, having massive media coverage, International watch, and still, many such incidents happened. Imagine what could happen without such attention.

This year, a group of 87 former top bureaucrats and police officers have written an open letter where they expressed their concerns over rising arbitrary detentions and demanded an end to extra-judicial killings.

In December 2019, Four rape accused were killed in a police encounter for no justified reasons, and they projected it as something to be proud of; around 2000 people in no time congregated at the place of the incident and started
hailing 'Police Zindabad' and all sorts of slogans; praising them, what they fail to understand is that there is a justice system. Those were ACCUSED and NOT PROOVED criminals, and they could've disclosed some concerning facts in the trial proceedings, and every person has the right to a fair trial, a right to get heard. Such killings are entirely unacceptable.

Interestingly, the lack of scrutiny of police professionals has made policing dictatorial, where they are praised for doing something but not blamed for failing to do it.

The Supreme Court has ruled against extra-judicial killings in many cases, given the increasing number of such incidents. It even imposed death penalties against police officers involved in fake encounters. In a 2012 landmark judgment: Om Prakash v/s State of Jharkhand, the Supreme Court termed these killings 'state-sponsored terrorism.'

Extra-judicial killings in the shape of fake encounters are an assault on the Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Article 14, which allows the right to equality, and Article 21, which protects life and personal liberty. In fake encounters, the Police take over the role of the judiciary and the executioner without providing a fair chance to the accused to be heard at an appropriate judicial forum, thereby violating the principle of Audi Alteram Partem.

Media reports suggest that killings have rarely been carried out against the
state's most wanted and powerful criminals. Thus, it is clear that encounters are used as an instrument by the state against the vulnerable sections of society and maybe to hide their own sins.

On 10 July 2020, Vikas Dubey, a well-known gangster in the state of Uttar Pradesh (U.P.), was encountered by the Police. The Police claimed that en route to U.P. from Ujjain, Dubey snatched the pistol from one of the cops and fired on them. Thus, the Police had to resort to shooting in self-defence. Undoubtedly,

the Police have the right to self-defence. Therefore, if the police account is valid, the court no longer remains obliged to intervene.

But some of the facts regarding this case open up a strong possibility of it being a state-sponsored fake encounter, the car in which Dubey was seen sitting in CCTV footage wasn't the car that got overturned, and no locals witnessed the accident alleged by the Police. Further, Police encountered many of Dubey's close associates in a similar way. Dubey had a lengthy criminal record; he was even accused of murdering a sitting minister of the state of Uttar Pradesh and was still roaming free for years; this means that he had high-level connections, and if he were tried in the court, many secrets would have come out and hence this happened.

And this doesn't stop at criminals! It has been observed that since May 2017, half of those killed in encounter killings in the U.P. were Muslims, and the other half comprised mainly of backward castes.

In People's Union for Civil Liberties v/s State Of Maharashtra, the Supreme Court strongly condemned the police officers indulging in such atrocious practices and issued strict guidelines prescribing a procedure for investigating deaths by encounter. However, the law enforcement agencies were unaffected by these.

The perpetrators get away with these killings because the Police is investigating itself, and it does so with a biased approach. In cases where people in power are involved, the investigation is usually tampered with because the C.I.D. and other police stations come under the State Government, averting a fair investigation.

The fact that 61 out of 74 magisterial inquiries against U.P Police officers regarding encounter killings have been filed with a closure report where the police personnel were acquitted leaves me flabbergasted.

Unfortunately, extra-judicial killings are not new or exclusive to this government. Governments have always resorted to such things- Bengal in the 1960s, Punjab in the 1980s, recently in Kashmir, in north-eastern states including Manipur and parts of Central India affected by the Maoist surgency.

U.S. state department says that Over 41,000 cash bounties were paid to Police in Punjab for extra-judicial killings of Sikhs between 1991 and 1993 alone, and India has not allowed Amnesty International to conduct an independent human- rights investigation in Punjab since 1978, and we know why.

In the Urutti Kolai case, the policemen were awarded the death penalty for the first time in a special C.B.I. court in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram. The policemen were accused of murdering a 26-year-old in a theft case by using a heavy rod to torture him during interrogation, resulting in his death. The C.B.I. held that it was 'brutal and dastardly murder' and categorized it in the rarest of rare cases.

What I am trying to do is to bring your attention to the severity of this topic. The system is swallowing your rights day by day. Uncontrolled executives are the last thing you want in a democracy. It could come to any of us anytime. We need to raise our voices against it. India badly needs Police Reforms; after all, Indian Laws matter, Indian Lives Matter!

The world, including Indians, stood up for George Floyd; it's time we realize the biggest democracy in the world, is facing similar challenges. Allowing arbitrariness in the Legislative or Executive sector defies the whole purpose of democracy.

So, this year when we celebrate the 73rd human rights day, let's join hands together and pledge to raise voices against Human Rights abuses and remember Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere.

Law Article in India

Ask A Lawyers

You May Like

Legal Question & Answers

Lawyers in India - Search By City

Copyright Filing
Online Copyright Registration


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi Mutual Consent Divorce is the Simplest Way to Obtain a D...

Increased Age For Girls Marriage


It is hoped that the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which intends to inc...

Facade of Social Media


One may very easily get absorbed in the lives of others as one scrolls through a Facebook news ...

Section 482 CrPc - Quashing Of FIR: Guid...


The Inherent power under Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (37th Chapter of t...

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India: A...


The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a concept that proposes the unification of personal laws across...

Role Of Artificial Intelligence In Legal...


Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various sectors of the economy, and the legal i...

Lawyers Registration
Lawyers Membership - Get Clients Online

File caveat In Supreme Court Instantly