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‘Taliban-style’ justice has no place under Constitution: Retd judges on Hyderabad encounter

A week after when a 27-year-old veterinarian in Hyderabad was gangraped and murdered at a toll plaza, the police found the woman's charred body under a bridge Wednesday night.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune | Updated: December 6, 2019 10:41:55 pm
Telangana Police escorted the four accused to the crime scene where the body was found and conducted an encounter. (Source: Reuters)

Condemning the ‘encounter’ of four accused in the Hyderabad rape-murder case as “Taliban style” of justice, legal experts Friday questioned the act of the Telangana Police and said such dispensation of justice reflects poor on the existing judicial system.

“Everything should happen within the framework of the law… Such Taliban-style justice is not warranted,” said P B Sawant, retired judge of the Supreme Court.

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Urging a thourough investigation into the ‘encounter’ by the Telangana Police, Sawant said, “There is a need to find out whether the encounter was a real one and not stage-managed or a fake encounter. It is very difficult to believe or digest what the police are saying.”

The celebratory mood among people are not out of place, it instead reflects poorly on the existing judicial system, he said. Sawant also raised doubts on police’s statement which said the four accused attacked them with stones and sticks and the police opened fire in self-defence. “Why did they shoot on the upper part of their bodies ? And were the accused not hand-cuffed,” he questioned.

Marking a future course for rape and murder related cases, Sawant said such cases should get first priority in court and should be segregated from other crimes, adding that a deadline of three months should be followed to conclude the hearing.

Read | ‘You could’ve fed them dog food, but did you have to kill them’

Another Retd Justice B G Kolse-Patil of Bombay High Court opiniated no matter the nature of the crime, the police should not dispense justice. “Justice should be dispensed only by the courts. The Constitution has created three agencies like the legislative, the executive and the judiciary for a purpose. They are inter-dependent,” he said.

“Instead of making courts ‘majboot’ (strong), they are making courts ‘majboor’ (helpless). This has led to frustration among the justice-seekers. As a result, people are celebrating out of court justice like it has happened in Hyderabad,” he said.

Abhorring the ‘Taliban-style’ justice, Kolse-Patil gave an example stating, if an offence is committed before a judge’s eye, he does not have the right to return to court and convict the accused. The judge will have to follow the due procedure of law and will have to become a witness and testify.

A week after when a 27-year-old veterinarian in Hyderabad was gangraped and murdered at a toll plaza, the police found the woman’s charred body under a bridge Wednesday night. The four accused were detained the same day her body was recovered, however, early morning Friday, the Telangana Police escorted the four accused to the crime scene where the body was found and conducted an encounter in Chatanpally area, inviting a flurry of reactions from politicians and people.

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