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NHRC recommends Rs.25 lakh to each in a case of encounter
The National Human Rights Commission has recommended rupees five lakh each to the next of kin of five persons killed in the encounter. NHRC has severely indicted the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, the Delhi Government and the Delhi Police for their responses to its notices in connection with an encounter in Delhi in which five persons were killed on May 5, 2006. On the basis of the material on record, the Commission has found the encounter doubtful.
The Commission had registered case No. 8323/24/2006-2007 on the basis of an intimation received from the father of one of the victims. It is revealed in the first week of March, 2013.


The Commission has set aside the contention of the Union Home Ministry that "the Delhi Police have amply proved that the encounter was genuine and therefore no justification for the relief". It has held this response to its show cause notice as an extra-ordinary assertion made without any mooring in facts. The Commission said that it was unable to understand how the Ministry of Home Affairs claimed "the Delhi Police has managed to prove that the encounter was genuine". The NHRC has also deplored the "intransigence of the authorities concerned for refusing to accept its recommendation to hold a CBI enquiry in this case" which, it felt was essential. The Commission has further observed that in 2003, it had issued guidelines to all States to hold magisterial enquiries in the aftermath of any encounter wherein there was a loss of life. All State Governments have accepted these guidelines and act on them.


The egregious exception is in the National Capital Territory, where the Delhi Police, which appears to be deeply apprehensive of any impartial scrutiny of its actions, opposes magisterial enquiries and has an extra-ordinary veto on these decisions. There was total non-cooperation from the Government of Delhi. The police did not forward all the relevant documents to the Commission such as seizure memo of the articles recovered from the scene of occurrence and map of the scene of occurrence. There was no explanation for non-collection of scientific evidence. During the course of enquiries, the Commission found that the encounter happened in Yamuna Khadar area by the Delhi Police which was provided assistance from the Uttar Pradesh Police. This self-serving evasiveness of the Delhi Police is supported by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, though it is the Nodal Ministry for the protection of human rights in India. This is a sad reflection on the Delhi Police and on the Ministry's understanding of its responsibilities on human rights. In this case, as usual, no magisterial enquiry was held.
 


The Commission, therefore, had to use its powers u/s 13 (1) (e) of the Protection of Human Rights Act to direct the District Magistrate, North East Delhi, to conduct an enquiry. This enquiry, diligently conducted by a senior officer of the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, recommended that a CBI enquiry be carried out, having come to the conclusion that "there is ample material on record which creates reasonable doubt about the genuineness of the encounter by the special cell of the Delhi Police". The Delhi Police also did not answer any of the points raised by the Commission. It is a travesty, therefore, for the Delhi Police and the Ministry of Home Affairs to claim that it had been proven that the encounter was genuine. The other claim made by the Ministry of Home Affairs was that the persons who were killed had serious criminal records.


The Commission reminds the Ministry that, under the law, criminals cannot be summarily executed. It was for the police to establish that these men were killed in the exercise of the right of self-defense. This they have failed to do. The Ministry has put forward the absurd argument that "providing relief to the next of kin of such dreaded criminals would amount to providing incentive for such criminal activities and send a wrong signal". The Commission reminds the Ministry that the only criminal activity that has been plausibly established in this case is the murder of five men by policemen appointed to uphold the law, not to break it. Secondly, the relief is to be provided to the next of kin of men who were killed. The Commission fails to understand how this would be an incentive to the criminals. If the relief is an incentive, from the Ministry's argument, it would follow that more criminals would allow themselves to be executed by the police, in the hope that their families might receive some relief thereafter.
Therefore, the Commission has held that it was unable to accept the specious arguments put forward by the Ministry of Home Affairs. It maintains that a grievous violation of human rights was committed, for which the Government of India should make reparations. Therefore, it has recommended that Rs. 5 lakhs each be paid to the next of kin of the late Ayub, Babu, Sanjay, Aslam and Manoj. Deadline to sendback the proof of payment to NHRC by April 17, 2014.


The National Human Rights Commission has recommended rupees five lakh each to the next of kin of five persons killed in the encounter. NHRC has severely indicted the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, the Delhi Government and the Delhi Police for their responses to its notices in connection with an encounter in Delhi in which five persons were killed on May 5, 2006. On the basis of the material on record, the Commission has found the encounter doubtful. The Commission had registered case No. 8323/24/2006-2007 on the basis of an intimation received from the father of one of the victims. It is revealed in the first week of March, 2013.




The Commission has set aside the contention of the Union Home Ministry that "the Delhi Police have amply proved that the encounter was genuine and therefore no justification for the relief". It has held this response to its show cause notice as an extra-ordinary assertion made without any mooring in facts. The Commission said that it was unable to understand how the Ministry of Home Affairs claimed "the Delhi Police has managed to prove that the encounter was genuine". The NHRC has also deplored the "intransigence of the authorities concerned for refusing to accept its recommendation to hold a CBI enquiry in this case" which, it felt was essential. The Commission has further observed that in 2003, it had issued guidelines to all States to hold magisterial enquiries in the aftermath of any encounter wherein there was a loss of life. All State Governments have accepted these guidelines and act on them.




The egregious exception is in the National Capital Territory, where the Delhi Police, which appears to be deeply apprehensive of any impartial scrutiny of its actions, opposes magisterial enquiries and has an extra-ordinary veto on these decisions. There was total non-cooperation from the Government of Delhi. The police did not forward all the relevant documents to the Commission such as seizure memo of the articles recovered from the scene of occurrence and map of the scene of occurrence. There was no explanation for non-collection of scientific evidence. During the course of enquiries, the Commission found that the encounter happened in Yamuna Khadar area by the Delhi Police which was provided assistance from the Uttar Pradesh Police. This self-serving evasiveness of the Delhi Police is supported by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, though it is the Nodal Ministry for the protection of human rights in India. This is a sad reflection on the Delhi Police and on the Ministry's understanding of its responsibilities on human rights. In this case, as usual, no magisterial enquiry was held.
 


The Commission, therefore, had to use its powers u/s 13 (1) (e) of the Protection of Human Rights Act to direct the District Magistrate, North East Delhi, to conduct an enquiry. This enquiry, diligently conducted by a senior officer of the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, recommended that a CBI enquiry be carried out, having come to the conclusion that "there is ample material on record which creates reasonable doubt about the genuineness of the encounter by the special cell of the Delhi Police". The Delhi Police also did not answer any of the points raised by the Commission. It is a travesty, therefore, for the Delhi Police and the Ministry of Home Affairs to claim that it had been proven that the encounter was genuine. The other claim made by the Ministry of Home Affairs was that the persons who were killed had serious criminal records.


The Commission reminds the Ministry that, under the law, criminals cannot be summarily executed. It was for the police to establish that these men were killed in the exercise of the right of self-defense. This they have failed to do. The Ministry has put forward the absurd argument that "providing relief to the next of kin of such dreaded criminals would amount to providing incentive for such criminal activities and send a wrong signal". The Commission reminds the Ministry that the only criminal activity that has been plausibly established in this case is the murder of five men by policemen appointed to uphold the law, not to break it. Secondly, the relief is to be provided to the next of kin of men who were killed. The Commission fails to understand how this would be an incentive to the criminals. If the relief is an incentive, from the Ministry's argument, it would follow that more criminals would allow themselves to be executed by the police, in the hope that their families might receive some relief thereafter.


Therefore, the Commission has held that it was unable to accept the specious arguments put forward by the Ministry of Home Affairs. It maintains that a grievous violation of human rights was committed, for which the Government of India should make reparations. Therefore, it has recommended that Rs. 5 lakhs each be paid to the next of kin of the late Ayub, Babu, Sanjay, Aslam and Manoj. Deadline to sendback the proof of payment to NHRC by April 17, 2014. Thanks to NHRC for efforts in delivering justice and boasting general public to maintain faith in the system.
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