SC: UP encounters serious issue, needs detailed hearing
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday said encounter killings of alleged criminals in Uttar Pradesh was a “serious issue” requiring detailed hearing even though the Yogi Adityanath government claimed it had followed the procedure laid down by the SC while probing each case of death.
A bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S K Kaul told petitioner PUCL’s counsel Sanjay Parikh and UP government’s counsel Mukul Rohatgi that it had decided on a detailed hearing after going through the PIL and the response filed by the state government. The bench posted the matter for further hearing on February 12.
PUCL had brought to the court’s notice “incidents of massive administrative liquidations taking place in UP in blatant violation of rule of law, legal and constitutional protection available to citizens, including right to life.”
The petition said, “Facts reveal that over 1,100 encounters have taken place in the past year, wherein 49 persons were killed and 370 injured. According to the figures given by UP to the National Human Rights Commission, in these encounters, 45 persons died between January 1, 2017, and March 31, 2018.”
The UP government had told the SC that 30 of 48 suspected criminals killed in the last one year belonged to majority community and accused the petitioners of trying to give communal colour to the encounters. It had said that in each of these incidents, it had followed the procedure set out by the SC .
“Investigations in 28 cases have been completed and final reports filed in 19 cases have been accepted by courts. Further, magisterial inquiry has been completed in 33 cases and police action has been found lawful,” the state said. “An attempt is being made to present dreadful criminals as victims,”it added.