Supreme Court of India on 23 September 2014 issued guidelines for police encounter in India and called for mandatory registration of FIRs in all cases of encounter deaths.
In its directive the Court said that in case encounter that leads to death, FIRs should be filed and magisterial probe under Section 176 of the Criminal Procedure Code should be carried out. These FIRs should be probed to bring to justice the perpetrators of the crime who take law in their hands.
The apex court expressed its concern that no guidelines are in place for encounter killings in the country. The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha said that cases of death in police encounters continue to occur in spite of Constitutional provisions for safeguarding the personal liberty and life of a citizen. It is essential to restore the faith of people in the police force.
Apart from this, the Court also said that no out-of-turn promotion or instant gallantry rewards should be bestowed on the concerned officers soon after the occurrence of the incidents. It must be ensured at all costs that such rewards are given or recommended only when the gallantry of the concerned officers is established beyond doubt.
The Supreme Court issued the guidelines, while hearing a PIL filed by NGO named People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL). The NGO and the NHRC in their suggestion asked the court to set up a separate and independent probe agency under NHRC or the state human rights commission to probe all encounter killings.
When: 23 September 2014