September 23, 2014 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New Delhi, India: In a statement sent to the Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) the Amnesty International India has welcomed the Supreme Court’s order detailing how all police encounters must be investigated in order to prevent and punish fake encounters, or staged extrajudicial executions.
Too often, investigations into alleged fake encounters are neither independent nor impartial and lead to impunity for these crimes – a point that has been made earlier by the National Human Rights Commission and by the Andhra Pradesh High Court.
The SC order pronounced today takes steps to ensure that investigations are impartial and independent, by requiring mandatory registration of FIRs, magisterial inquiries into all cases, and that investigations be conducted by the state CID or a police team from another police station under the supervision of a senior officer. These requirements are now law, and must be enforced by authorities across the country, Amnesty International India said.
Authorities must also repeal laws which enable fake encounters, like the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, and ensure that legal barriers to prosecuting security forces in cases of fake encounters are removed. Effective victim and witness protection programmes must be established to ensure that investigations are not compromised. State governments like those of Manipur, which have seen a number of fake encounters, must immediately take steps to ensure independent and impartial investigations into all allegations.
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