GUWAHATI: Gauhati High Court disposed of a PIL seeking an enquiry into the alleged fake encounters by the Assam Police by an independent agency on Friday citing that an investigation is already in place regarding the same matter
A public interest litigation was filed with the Gauhati High Court seeking an enquiry into the deaths and injuries of public because of the illegal action of the state police. Guwahati-based lawyer Arif Jwadder who practices in New Delhi filed this petition in December 2021. It also mentioned that the people who were injured and killed in these incidents were not dreaded criminals but the way the police worked, suggested otherwise.
It also asked for a judicial enquiry into the incidents by a sitting judge of the court while directing the state government to set up human rights courts in each district. The PIL also sought compensation for the families of such encounters after necessary verification.
A division bench of the Gauhati HC comprising of justices Suman Shyam and Susmita Phukan Khaund disposed this petition against the Assam government and the state police. The PIL alleged that the necessary legal procedures were not followed and persons who were in police custody were killed through extra-judicial means. The bench also noted that the state government had already registered the FIRs regarding these incidents and the investigations are ongoing.
The state government has admited that 171 incidents had taken place between May 2021 and August 2022 which included 4 deaths in custody, 56 deaths in police action and 145 injuries infront of the court. It also added that separate FIRs have been registered and an investigation proceeded regarding all these incidents. The Advocate General of Assam had also mentioned that the people found guilty will be punished as per rules, which may include police officials.
"It is evident that during the period number of persons had lost their lives and/or had suffered grievous injuries in police action. However, there is some explanation in those (government) affidavits as to the circumstances under which the incidents had allegedly occurred," the divisional bench noted while adding, "what would be significant to note herein is that there has been no attempt on the part of the official respondents either to deny the occurrence or to suppress any facts from this court."