//National Conference on Human Rights – Session V: “Extra Judicial Killings & The Judicial Response”

National Conference on Human Rights – Session V: “Extra Judicial Killings & The Judicial Response”

The right to life is a fundamental right because, without it, the enjoyment of other rights is not possible and once taken it can never been restored. The right to life imposes upon states the duty to abstain from arbitrarily killing individuals under their jurisdiction.

Extra Judicial killings are again on the rise and are being categorized under a new vocabulary of “crossfire” or encounters”.  The police-politician nexus and extrajudicial killings assumed blatant proportions in our country. The alarming rise of extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances/abductions without anyone being held accountable is a mockery on our constitution.

Accountability is a facet of the rule of law but extra judicial killings persists because of overwhelming barriers to accountability. Even we have cases of paid assassins. There is a climate of impunity and many of these extra judicial killing cases there was no inquiry at all.  In some instances, the First Information Report was against the victim and not against the alleged perpetrators.

Weak probes into extrajudicial killings, the failure to prosecute those involved and the absence of a compensation system for the victim’s family’s shows how the government and courts have failed to take effective measures to end encounter deaths.  There is no independent body in India that is in combating extrajudicial killings. Witness intimidation and sometimes witness murder and scant investigation are the fate for these killings.