Tue, 12 Dec 2023

New Delhi [India], October 2 (ANI): One of the petitioners has told the Supreme Court that the Uttar Pradesh government has not given complete details 183 encounter killings and said that such response by the state government raised doubt over these incidents.

Advocate Vishal Tiwari, who is petitioner, has filed a rejoinder affidavit in the Supreme Court and said that Uttar Pradesh Government has deliberately not given any Status Report or reply to the 183 encounter killings.

"Many of these encounters might have been fake and no proper compliance of the Guidelines laid down by this Supreme Court have been made. This conduct of the Respondent by not disclosing the entire facts to these incidents does not inspire confidence and raises question mark upon the State's functioning fairly and impartially," Vishal Tiwari said.

He also raised questions on the police story of self-defence and mentioned that the Apex Court in Extra Judicial Execution Victim FamiliesAssociation (EEVFAM) and Ors. Vs. Union of India (UOI) matter has succinctly stated that the right of self-defence or private defence falls in one basket and use of excessive force or retaliatory force falls in another basket.

"Therefore, while a victim of aggression has a right of private defence or self-defence (recognized by Sections 96 to 106 of the Indian Penal Code) if that victim exceeds the right of private defence or self-defence by using excessive force or retaliatory measures, he then becomes an aggressor and commits a punishable offence," Advocate Vishal Tiwari said.

He also said that the encounter killings are seen as a major achievement by the state officials which further encourages such arbitrary and unconstitutional killings.

"This is also evident from the out of turn promotions granted to those officers who were involved in such killing. These officers are also bestowed with gallantry awards against the guidelines of the apex court. It is also important to note that under-trials are not criminals until they are convicted and the charges on them are proved. Perhaps the state has forgotten the difference since most of the victims were those who were under-trial. The state also claims that law and order is in check, however this is being seen as a cover to other unjustified activities of the state," he submitted.

Earlier the Supreme Court has asked the Uttar Pradesh Government to file an affidavit mentioning the stage of investigation and status of cases relating to 183 alleged encounters that take place since 2017.

The court also sought to know from the state government whether the guidelines issued by the top court and National Human Rights Commission are being followed by the police.

The court direction came after petitioner and advocate Vishal Tiwari raised the issue.

The court had also questioned on the incident of Atiq killing as he was escorted by five-ten people and said that how can someone just come and shoot.

UP government told the court that they have filed chargesheet in the matter. The court was hearing a petition concerning over encounter in Uttar Pradesh.

One of the petitions filed by advocate Vishal Tiwari seeking to constitute an Independent Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of a Former Supreme Court judge to inquire into the killing of Atiq and Ashraf amid police presence. Another petitioner has filed by sister of gangster-politician Atiq Ahmed and Ashraf Ahmed, who were shot dead while being in police custody in Uttar Pradesh on April 15.

The plea was filed by Atiq Ahmed's sister. Aisha Noori, seeking a comprehensive probe headed by a retired judge or by an independent agency into alleged"extrajudicial killings" carried out by the government. She has also sought investigation into the encounter killing of her nephew and Atiq Ahmed's son.

Earlier a similar petition was filed by advocate Vishal Tiwari, who sought to constitute an Independent Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of Former Supreme Court judge to inquire into the killing of Atiq and Ashraf amid police presence.

The Uttar Pradesh government has recently filed a status report in the Supreme Court in connection with Atiq Ahmed's death case and apprised the top court that police reforms and modernisation measures are underway and handcuffing instructions issued to prevent the easy escape of hardened criminals.

The state of Uttar Pradesh has informed the Supreme Court that its police department has undergone a comprehensive modernization process. This includes the acquisition of medium-sized prison vans, drones, body-worn cameras, post-mortem kits, full-body protectors for women, radio equipment, security equipment, ATS-related equipment, and various vehicles. These acquisitions have been made possible through grants approved by both the Government of India and the Government of Uttar Pradesh.

The status report has been filed by Uttar Pradesh pursuant to SC's order on a petition filed by advocate Vishal Tiwari.

The State informed the apex court that a chargesheet has been filed in connection with the matter concerned. The state govt has given instructions to follow the witness protection scheme. Handcuffing instructions have also been issued to prevent the easy escape of hardened criminals, the state govt informed the top court. (ANI)

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