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An estimated 3-minute read

Fake Encounters and Honour Killings: Rarest of Rare Crimes

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Recent developments in the Indian Legal system pertaining to the issues relating to “Rarest of rare crimes” have shown the credibility and activeness of the Indian Judiciary. Two judgments, one relating to the issue of “Honour Killings” and another relating to the issue of “Fake Encounters”

Both of these judgments would serve as a setback towards those police officers and persons, who use these two issues as a weapon to kill innocent person. Two basic questions which would come into the mind of a reasonable person are:

1. What honour would a person get by killing his own children or relatives?

2. Who will secure us when police officers are indulged in contract killings?

Recently, it has been held by the Supreme Court in Prakash Kadam & Etc. Etc. vs Ramprasad Vishwanath Gupta & Anr (CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS.1174-1178_OF 2011), that killing innocent people in the name of Encounter is a brutal offence, and it can be categorized under “Rarest of rare crimes”. Also, it has been declared by the apex court that the police officer, if found guilty, should be punished with the capital sentence or death. A murder done by a normal person would be a normal murder, but a murder done by a police officer, who owes a duty towards the society for maintaining its peacefulness and has violated it through the breach of his own duty, would be punished with death. The view of the court was that if a police officer has been ordered by his senior official to do an illegal act, then he can refuse to do such an act and if he doesn’t do so, he would be liable for the offence committed by him in his own capacity. Justice katju took the example of Nuremburg Trials stating that "In the Nuremburg trials the Nazi war criminals took the plea that ' orders are orders', nevertheless they were hanged,''. It is a setback to those police officials, who had appealed against the order of Bombay High Court dismissing their bail plea in a criminal case pending before a session court.

According to Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary an Encounter can be defined in the context for the present purpose as “an incident in which police shoot dead a suspected criminal”. And, when such an accident is fake or has been created by police officers themselves for their personal gain, it becomes a fake encounter. The present case deals with one such case where a person was killed by some police officer in the name of “Encounter”.

In this case, deceased Ramnarayan and one of the accused were indulged in an estate business i.e. they were working with each other. But, suddenly some differences grew up between them and they didn’t work together for longer. The said accused asked the police officers to kill Ramnarayan on a contract. The Supreme Court was of the view that Fake `encounters' are nothing but cold blooded, brutal murder by persons who are supposed to uphold the law. This is one of the grave situations representing the law and order of the country. Police Officers, who are considered to be the protectors of the society, are contracting with a third party to kill an innocent person. Moreover it was said by the court that if police officers can kill a person, why they cannot kill the witnesses of the case for saving the person whom they have contracted with. They can even kill their own relatives for their own safety. In this case, they have not complied with the duty which they have been appointed for. They have done the act, which is in contrary with the duty imposed on the police officers.

It is said by the court that our ancient thinkers were of the view that the worst state of affairs possible in society is a state of lawlessness. When the rule of law collapses it is replaced by Matsyanyaya ..........Read More

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