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High Court Hears PIL of 8257 Missing and Extra-Judicially Killed in Fake Encounters in Punjab

March 10, 2020 | By

Chandigarh: A bench of Chief Justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court resumed hearing PIL of 8257 missing and extra-judicially killed persons in staged encounters in Punjab from 1984-1995.

Writ Petition No 270 of 2019 was heard before a bench comprising of the Chief Justice Ravi Shankar Jha and Hon. Justice Arun Palli last Thursday (February 6, 2020).

The PIL bench heard Petitioners arguments that the Supreme Court of India had earlier set important legal precedents in cases of mass killings and extra-judicial executions in two significant and relevant cases: the 2012 Manipur extra-judicial executions of 1528 persons in the north-eastern state of Manipur, in which the CBI was ordered to investigate the role of police and armed forces in fake and staged encounters, similarly a CBI enquiry was initiated in the Jaswant Singh Khalra – Mass Cremations case, in which 2097 people were extra-judicially killed in Amritsar and the bodies of victims illegally and secretly cremated.

Adjourning arguments until 22nd April 2020, the bench directed Additional Solicitor General Satya Pal Jain, who appeared for the Union of India to ascertain the basis on which these earlier matters were heard:

Petitioner (NGO) the Punjab Documentation and Advocacy Project (PDAP) had conducted an eight year investigation in Punjab into fake encounters, abduction and disappearances of youth in Punjab between 1984-1995 whose whereabouts remained unknown. The Petitioner had documented details of over 8257 cases of which 6733 were before the court and prayed for an SIT and Judicial enquiry into these cold blooded killings by Punjab police officers during the period of militancy and counter-insurgency.

The PIL is the latest attempt for the survivors and victims for justice following a two-decade long struggle for the truth, justice and accountability.

The victim Petitioners have a right to know the identities of these corpses and an official explanation regarding their deaths, til date even death certificates have not been issued as the whereabouts of these enforced disappeared persons remains unknown.

The Petitioners were represented by Advocate Rajvinder Singh Bains and Satnam Singh Bains, Barrister Petitioner Advocate Jagjit Singh Bajwa on behalf of the Punjab Documentation and Advocacy Project and Advocate Arjun Sheoran.

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