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SCOI Report: Suo motu Lokur-Lalit bench acts tough in fake encounter case

Fake encounters: In SC crosshairs
Fake encounters: In SC crosshairs

The fake encounter case involving the use of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) against innocent victims - being heard by the Supreme Court suo motu - came up before justices Madan B Lokur and UU Lalit.

Menaka Guruswamy, amicus curiae in the case, gave an overview of the 62 cases of encounter deaths, which she had compiled on the basis of inputs from the UOI, NHRC and other stakeholders.

The bench asked her to take a case at random, and apprise it of its details to get a sense of what was happening.

Lalit asked the UOI whether the persons responsible for a fake encounter should not be prosecuted if compensation had been paid to the victims.

Citing Justice Chandrachud’s judgment in Rudul Sah, he said compensation must be recovered from the officer, held guilty of fake encounter.

The UOI counsel responded saying in certain cases the inquiry did not clearly establish fake encounter, but compensation was nevertheless paid to the victims.Lalit warned the respondents that they must be completely thorough and answer whether they were justified in using force only then an inference of valid encounter could be drawn, he observed.

The Bench will continue hearing the matter again on 5 October.

Photo by Cyril Thomas

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