Hyderabad killings Mumbai

Jubilation at encounter shows lack of faith in system: ex-IPS officers

Spontaneous: Celebrations in Malad, Mumbai, after news of the death in police encounter of four rape accused in Hyderabad spread on Friday morning. File

Spontaneous: Celebrations in Malad, Mumbai, after news of the death in police encounter of four rape accused in Hyderabad spread on Friday morning. File  

more-in

Former senior policemen express discomfort at sidestepping rule of law, but say people are frustrated with delivery of justice

The jubilation around the Telangana police’s encounter killing of the four men accused of the recent gangrape and murder of a young veterinarian in Hyderabad shows people are losing faith in the criminal justice system, said former Indian Police Service (IPS) officers.

Former police commissioner of Mumbai M.N. Singh wondered where the rule of law was. “This incident and the subsequent encounter deaths of the accused is a sad commentary on the criminal justice delivery system in India. People seem to have lost faith in the system because it doesn’t seem to be delivering justice and people want those involved in such heinous crimes to be punished expeditiously and sternly, which is not happening.”

On the 2012 Nirbhaya rape case in Delhi, he said, “The case is seven years old and has been lost in procedures. It is frustrating that people are celebrating when the accused are killed in encounters. They feel it brings justice to the system and deters criminals. People are losing faith because the system is so procedure-oriented and so prone to delay it doesn’t seem to be functional.”

Former director general of police Prakash Singh, on the other hand, questioned the manner in which the encounter was conducted and said several precautions needed to be in place. “The police had to ensure that the accused were not carrying weapons. Also, taking them to the scene of crime at 3 a.m. was not necessary. They have to ensure that no attempts are made by the accused for them to be rescued by their criminal friends. There were 10 constables and 10 police personnel, which is a fairly big number. So how could they allow the situation to get so out of hand that there was no other means but this? They took the pistol and fired at them: I am not comfortable with this story.”

Mr. Singh, on his part, was not comfortable with the jubilation. “It just goes to show people’s eroding faith in the the country’s criminal justice system. Look at the Nirbhaya case, it’s been seven years and despite the fast-track court and media hype, the system has not hanged them (the accused) because the mercy petition is pending.”

Former Navi Mumbai police commissioner K.L. Prasad said India should go by the rule of law, which is being sidestepped because of our criminal justice system. “It takes a lot of time to decide a matter. In a severe case, there should be a time limit, for example, a murder has to be decided by the sessions court in six months, the high court and Supreme Court should finish hearing it in three months each and after all this, the final verdict should come in two months’ time. However, here it takes 20 to 25 years. People are getting disillusioned because of the system’s failure.”

Former Indian Police Service officer and advocate Y.P. Singh said the police has taken the law into their hands in a country that is governed by the rule of law. “This is absolutely unacceptable and sooner or later, they will have to face the consequences. What if they were innocent? Most of the time, they catch the wrong people, and that’s why we have a trial,” he said.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Related Topics Mumbai
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 6:33:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/jubilation-at-encounter-shows-lack-of-faith-in-system-ex-ips-officers/article30226346.ece

Next Story