Updated: November 27, 2021 7:11:09 am
Observing that “dubious encounters cannot be used as a solution to control crime”, a Delhi judge has come down heavily on the police, calling the incident of an alleged gangster, Rohit Gehlot, being shot in the leg staged.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vinod Kumar Meena said he expects the Delhi Police Commissioner to order an independent investigation by the CID or the police team of another station under the supervision of a senior officer.
“The court has to convey with a heavy heart that today we are celebrating 72nd Constitution Day and despite the presence of constitutional and statutory provisions, incidents of custodial violence are increasing, which is nothing but alarming and depressing. This is a matter of deep concern, as it is done/ committed by a person who is supposed to be the protector of citizens; it is committed under the shield of uniform and authority in a situation where the victim is totally helpless,” the court said.
It stressed on the need for a balanced approach while dealing with delicate law and order situations: “In any situation, human/legal/constitutional/fundamental rights must be preserved for all citizens. Dubious encounters cannot be used as solution to control crime as it has to be remembered that the cure cannot be worse than disease itself.”
The court said “there is ample material, which is making this encounter an apparent case of dubious, staged and suspected encounter”.
Advocates Vaibhav Tomar, Kunal Sharma and Aditya Bhardwaj, appearing for Gehlot, told the court he was taken from his home by police in a vehicle which belonged to one constable Kulwant Singh, who informed police about his movements and shot him in the leg. The defence counsel argued that Singh was the only person who wore a bulletproof jacket and took one bullet to his jacket in the encounter.
Gehlot told the court he was picked up from his home on November 1 by four officers to meet the DCP, taken to some flats in Dwarka and later to Uttam Nagar, where he was shot in the leg after police blindfolded him.
The court noted there are now four versions of the incident with material differences, but Gehlot’s version was substantiated through CCTV footage, which was submitted by his lawyers to court to back their claim that the accused was taken from his home and “shot in his left leg by police officials in a suspicious manner”.
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