Telangana

Have you followed SC guidelines in Shadnagar ‘encounter’: HC

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Government told to preserve bodies in Gandhi Hospital mortuary till Friday

Directing the State government to shift the bodies of the four accused killed in ‘Shadnagar encounter’ from Mahabubnagar hospital to the Gandhi Medical College mortuary in Hyderabad, the Telangana High Court on Monday sought to know if it followed the Supreme Court guidelines laid down in PUCL vs State of Maharashtra case.

“Tell us if you followed the SC guidelines in toto in this ‘encounter’,” Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan asked Additional Advocate General B.S. Prasad appearing for the government. The Bench comprising the Chief Justice and Justice A. Abhishek Reddy instructed the government to present relevant documents like the First Information Report (FIR) issued against the policemen responsible for the ‘encounter’ if it complied with the guidelines.

The SC guidelines issued in PUCL vs State of Maharashtra make it mandatory to issue the FIR, the CJ said. The AG told the Bench that the guidelines said an FIR should be issued in case of an ‘encounter’. “But not against the policemen,” he said. Then, against whom the FIR is issued, the Bench sought to know.

‘Guidelines are law’

The FIR was issued over the ‘encounter’, the AG replied. When the AG cited some points of the SC verdict maintaining that the FIR need not be against policemen, the CJ made it clear that SC had observed in that judgement that unless a specific legislation was made, the guidelines would be the law. Hence, there would be no option except to follow the guidelines, the Bench noted.

In its order, the Bench said the bodies should be preserved till Friday. The bodies should be shifted from Mahabubnagar in an air-conditioned ambulances to ensure they were not decomposed during transportation.

In the early hours of Friday last, the Cyberabad police gunned down the four accused at Chatanpalli in Shadnagar. Women’s rights organisations and people’s associations wrote a letter to the CJ the same evening requesting it to direct the government to follow SC guidelines in the ‘encounter’.

‘Video record autopsy’

Taking up the letter as PIL plea, the HC posted the matter to Monday after instructing the government to video record the autopsy of the four bodies. Meanwhile on Monday morning, a lawyer moved lunch motion requesting the court to order the government to pay ₹50 lakh compensation to each of the families of the four persons killed in the ‘encounter’.

The bench tagged both the pleas and heard after the lunch break.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 5:56:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/have-you-followed-sc-guidelines-in-shadnagar-encounter-hc/article30256662.ece

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