Encounter killings: SC rejects Guj govt plea seeking uniform guidelines
'Guidelines or advisory of such nature are not enforceable,' a bench comprising Chief Justice RM Lodha and justices MB Lokur and Kurian Joseph said.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court today dismissed Gujarat government's plea seeking uniform guidelines for dealing with cases of encounter killings, saying there cannot be such an advisory in a federal structure.
"Guidelines or advisory of such nature are not enforceable," a bench comprising Chief Justice RM Lodha and justices MB Lokur and Kurian Joseph said.
The decision came two years after the apex court said it will look into the state government's plea for laying down uniform guidelines for dealing with cases of encounter killings.
"We dismiss the petition as there is no ground for this court to interfere," the bench said, while observing that "the matter involves federal power and this is a state subject".
"Who will agree on uniform policy. Every state has its own peculiarity," the bench said and noted that many states are not agreeable to the suggestion.
Gujarat government's counsel submitted that notices were issued two years ago in the case which has been pending for further orders.
Gujarat government in 2012 had filed the PIL for independent probe into all cases of alleged killings by police in past 10 years in the country and had sought direction to deal with all cases of fake encounters in a uniform manner.
Gujarat government alleged that some vested interest groups are selectively targeting its police force over the encounter killings.
The petition had said the Gujarat government was seeking"an appropriate direction from this court to deal with all cases of fake encounters in the country in uniform manner which would ensure that while human rights are protected, police force of terrorism-prone Gujarat is not left demoralised on the ground that some vested interest groups are selectively targeting the police force of only one state."
The petition had sought a direction to all state governments and Union Territories to evolve and formulate a uniform nation-wide policy providing for an independent agency like "monitoring authority / special task force" created by the Gujarat government to probe into all cases of alleged fake encounters.
The petition had said such a step is necessary so as to ensure that on one hand extra-judicial killings under the garb of fake encounters would stop and honest police officers, discharging their duties against terrorist organisations / organised criminals, too are not left demoralised and working under the threat of possibility of motivated allegations against them.
The monitoring authority should further be directed to place its probe report before the apex court, the petition had said.
In its plea, the Gujarat government had said the apex court needs to undertake an exercise to examine the factual scenario in the entire country so as to avoid any different treatment to one particular state in which the number of encounter deaths are minimum.
The Gujarat government provided a detailed data about the terrorist-prone areas in the country and said terrorism has already taken a toll on lives of approximately 72,000 civilians and 12,000 security personnel.
The bench, which is seized of other petitions relating to the fake encounters between 2002-06 in Gujarat, had given liberty to the state government to file a separate petition on the issue when it had complained that only the Narendra Modi government is being singled out for encounter killings.
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