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India No Legal Shield For Cops Who Violated Rights: HC

Jan 6, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
No legal shield for cops who violated rights: HC

Ajay Sura, TNN | May 15, 2012, 06.51AM IST

Policemen involved in human rights violations by indulging in activities like fake encounters in Punjab during the days of militancy do not deserve protection of law to avoid prosecution, the Punjab and Haryana high court has ruled.

It also directed conducting of day-to-day trial of such policemen and filing of a progress report of the trial before the high court every six months.

The directions were passed by Justice M S Sullar of the HC while dismissing a bunch of petitions filed by various policemen facing prosecution for their alleged involvement in human rights violations, illegal detention, torture and even unidentified cremations.

Most of the policemen were charged by CBI for their role. They had moved the HC alleging that no prosecution sanction was granted against them under any special act, and hence they cannot be prosecuted.

Justice Sullar held that as evident from the records, policemen hatched criminal conspiracy, picked up people from their homes and other places, abducted and kidnapped in order to murder, illegally detained, brutally tortured, staged drama of false encounters, murdered them and cremated their bodies as unidentified, without post-mortem examinations, in order to cover-up evidence of offence to screen the offenders.

"Not only that, those persons were brutally killed in the manner depicted hereinbefore, but on the contrary, the police officers have lodged false cases, concocted false version of encounters and prepared the false record in this relevant behalf," he observed.

"Commission of such heinous offences, indeed, cannot and would not be termed to have any remote connection with the acts complained of in exercise of special powers conferred by some special statute," the court said.

The court also held that the tendency and frequency of such police personnel, who have been charged by the CBI for the commission of offences, to delay the disposal of criminal cases, on one pretext or the other, have been increasing day by day.

Claim over cover

A large number of policemen in Punjab are facing trial for their alleged role in committing atrocities during the days of militancy in the state. However, when the complaints against them were handed over to CBI, they started claiming the protection under various sections of The Punjab Disturbed Areas Act, 1983, which was subsequently amended by the provisions of The Punjab Disturbed Areas (Amendment) Act, 1989. These were enacted to make better provision for suppression of disorder and for the restoration and maintenance of public order in disturbed areas in Punjab.

source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...o-violated-rights-HC/articleshow/13144142.cms
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