Friday, May 18, 2007

Supreme Court: No CBI Enquiry For Gujarat Fake Encounter Case

Thursday 17th of May 2007 The Supreme Court today turned down the demand for a CBI inquiry into the Gujarat fake encounter case in which Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi were allegedly killed by the state Police in November 2005. The ruling is seen as a major relief to the Narendra Modi government.

A Bench comprising Justices Tarun Chatterjee and P K Balasubramanyan also directed the Gujarat Police to submit the final investigation report latest by July 3 and adjourned the hearing till July 16. The apex court also refused to accept the allegation that Kausar Bi was also killed in the encounter since her body or remains were yet to be recovered. Therefore, her death cannot be said to have
been confirmed, the court added.

-- Analysis By Cho Ramaswami --

The "false encounter killings" and its appendages of a series of litigations in Gujarat continue to be currency as far as news values go, even today. An encounter [killing] is a sudden occurrence when prisoners accused of extremist violence, or notorious criminals or agent provocateurs [acting against the interests of India's unity] challenge the arms of the law attempting to apprehend them or try to escape during their legal trial. The consequence is an exchange of fire. If the scofflaw dies as a result, the incident is usually accepted as a measure in self defence of those upholding the law.

When parameters such as "self-defence" against known extremists, terrorists, and/or antisocial elements are not applicable to the deeds of death by the police, they are termed "false encounters" a euphemism for cold blooded murder. Two years ago, one Sohrabuddin, an alleged go-between for terrorists and an antisocial element was shot dead in an "encounter." [Now the world knows] that it was not an "encounter" within the ambit of its meaning and instead was a wanton slaughter by a police posse. Worse, this person's wife, who was said to be a witness to the crime, was also "disposed off" in the same manner.

The details of this premeditated decimation morphed into a dreaded deal of triggered deaths. Finally, the Gujarat government admitted before the Supreme Court that the two incidents had been wanton slayings. The Apex Court is yet to give its ruling on the demand for a CBI probe into the matter. Perhaps, the state government has deduced that more skeletons will tumble out of its cupboard if such a situation comes to pass and hence has pre-empted its critics' move by launching its own investigation and "sang" before the judiciary.

Since there are indications pointing to the complicity of the police forces in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh in this imbroglio, the Gujarat investigators have attempted to arrest the respective states' officers as well. In all probability this too might be a ruse to head off the clamour for a [more impartial] CBI investigation.

The matter is a convenient stick in the hands of the Congress and the Communist parties to beat Gujarat Chief Minister [Narendra] Modi because he has been already termed as a Hindu chauvinist by them. There is nothing to be surprised about this because the [combination of secular-left-leaning] political outfits have damned him in the past. It must be admitted that no matter how dangerous a death-dealing dreaded desperado is, the normal [and legal] course of action should be an arrest and a consequent prosecution. Instead, if such a person is simply killed, it is a reprehensible, criminal offence. If the police have the leave to dole out instantaneous death sentences, it is bound to result in its misuse. Those suspected to be political foes of a ruling party of a state, its police, will be snuffled out at the drop of a hat.

[Naturally] the police cannot be accorded such a carte blanche. However, if a dangerous hardened criminal who is a threat to the society at large, is disposed off by the police, can it be called a foul murder? Or should it be deemed that the uniformed fraternity carried out a social responsibility? If one has to go strictly by the law, even such acts are plain and simple murders. Yet, the common public at large, [in some states] welcome it.

What is the real reason for this contradiction? If absolute innocents, political enemies of parties in power, foes of the police et al are murdered in cold blood under the guise of 'encounters," [no matter how highly placed], the guilty have to be brought to book. But, when enemies of the nation, or those who trouble the citizens of the country for personal benefits, or persons with a track record of heinous crimes who have terrorised witnesses who could have deposed against them into perpetual submission are done away with in this fashion, regardless of the fact that whether it is a real or fake encounter, it is the duty of any legally elected government to ensure that the matter isn't exhumed into embarrassment.

Many may consider this as a cruel travesty of justice. But, an administration that doesn't use its iron hand in times of need, has to be derided as impotent. If one were to analyze the encounters that have taken place in the length and breadth of the country, but for the odd exceptions, almost all of them are bound to be deduced as fake ones. Ipso facto, all the tidings about stray 'fake encounters' ought to be considered as 'fake' since almost the whole lot of them are liable to be tagged as that anyway. So crib about just a few? And if such occurrences do not take place at all, the common man's right to live a safe, dignified life will end up becoming illegally negotiable.

To come back to the Gujarat case that entails the murder of an absolutely innocent person – the wife of Sohrabuddin – certainly needs to be tried in public and the guilty must be punished. The courts' interest in pursuing the matter is surely called for. But, while saying this, I also have to add that my opinion of the whole matter may not have been the same if the woman in question hadn't been killed.

Sometimes, inhuman acts against those who are its very personifications can be termed deeds of compassion towards the largest section of the society.

1 comment:

Biby Cletus said...

Cool blog, i just randomly surfed in, but it sure was worth my time, will be back

Deep Regards from the other side of the Moon

Biby Cletus