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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

2002 encounter case: Supreme Court pulls up UP over ‘laxity’ in action against policemen

A bench of Justices Vineet Saran and Aniruddha Bose said, “The laxity with which state has proceeded in the present case speaks volumes of how state machinery is defending or protecting its own police officers.”

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: October 2, 2021 7:52:13 am
SC, ST quota in promotions: Govt gives data, says enough to show low numbersThe bench said if the government’s argument that this data is enough is accepted, there would arise a problem. (File)

Pulling up the Uttar Pradesh government over its conduct in the case of an alleged encounter, the Supreme Court asked it to pay an interim cost of Rs 7 lakh to a man seeking justice for his son’s killing in a case in 2002 in which police personnel are accused.

A bench of Justices Vineet Saran and Aniruddha Bose said, “The laxity with which state has proceeded in the present case speaks volumes of how state machinery is defending or protecting its own police officers.”

The order noted that the father Yash Pal Singh, who “has been running from pillar to post from the last 19 years”, was compelled to approach the court due to the “manner in which the state has proceeded”.

“Normally, we are slow in entertaining petitions directly filed in this court but in the extraordinary circumstances of this case, we have entertained this petition to ensure that justice be given to the petitioner, which has been denied for about two decades,” it said.

Appearing for UP, Additional Advocate General S Garima Prasad said the state is taking every action and has also initiated an enquiry as to why steps were not taken at the appropriate stage.

“Be that as it may, considering the facts of the case as narrated above, and keeping in view the totality of the circumstances and the sufferings which the petitioner has undergone, we direct the State of Uttar Pradesh to deposit a sum of Rs 7 lakh with the Registry of this Court towards interim costs within one week… the petitioner…shall be entitled to withdraw the same,” the order said.

While the police had filed a closure report in the case, it was rejected by the trial court in 2005. However, the accused were not arrested. The trial court, meanwhile, stayed the arrest of one of the accused.

They were not arrested even after 2017 when the HC dismissed their petitions, the SC order noted, adding that the trial court had in 2018 directed that their salaries be stopped but it was only done for one of the accused.

The SC said it was only after it issued notices in the writ petition on September 1 “that the state machinery geared up in action and have arrested two of the accused persons after 19 years and one accused has surrendered. As regards fourth accused, it is stated that he is still absconding”.

The counsel for the petitioner submitted that the fourth accused retired from service in 2019 and had been paid all dues.

To this, the SC said that “such conduct of the respondent/state cannot be understood”.

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