- Encounter Killing refers to alleged extra-judicial killings by police or armed forces.
- This is usually in self-defence when they encounter suspected gangsters or terrorists.
- The term police encounter is not defined specifically in the Indian Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure.
What are the Laws relating to Encounter Killing?
- Article 6(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
- Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.
- Articles 14 and 21 of the Indian Constitution
- The staged/ fake encounters (referred to as instant justice by the masses) are against the key constitutional provisions of Articles 14 and 21 of the Indian Constitution.
- Sections 96 & 100 of the Indian Penal Code
- These sections provide the right to private defence.
- As per Section 96, no offence is made out if any act is done in self-defence.
- Section 100: when the right of self-defence extends to causing death.
- Section 300(3) of IPC
- It provides that if any public servant causes death while acting for advancement of justice and which is lawful and mandatory for discharging their duty without any wrong intention, then they will not be liable for murder.
- Section 46(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure
- If any person tries to escape arrest, the person making the arrest has power to use all necessary force required for making the arrest.
- Recently, Gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed’s son Asad and his aide Ghulam were killed in an encounter.
- On these extra-judicial killings, popularly known as encounters, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and subsequently, the Supreme Court have laid down proper guidelines and procedures to be followed.