Rashid Paul

HC allows PIL in Shopian fake encounter case; posts matter for hearing on Oct 23

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Srinagar: The High Court has allowed ascertaining the nature of proceedings at its Jammu wing in the fake encounter killing of three civilians by Army in south Kashmir district of Shopian on July 18.

The petition by an NGO sought the investigation of the case be entrusted to a Special Investigating Team constituting members other than J&K Police and monitoring by J&K High Court.

The writ petition was filed in public interest in respect of death of three laborers from Rajouri district of Jammu by Army at Amshipora Shopian who were later passed off as militants.

The petitioner sought that the investigation initiated by J&K Police in the fake encounter be quashed and declared in contravention to the law laid down in Extra Judicial Execution Victims Families Association v. Union of India (2017) 3 SCC (Cri) 622.

It called for an appropriate investigating agency to register FIR to investigate the matter in terms of law and as per the guidelines formulated under Article 141 in People’s Union for Civil Liberties v. State of Maharashtra (2014) 10 SCC 635.

The investigation of the case be conducted in furtherance to the dictum of law Extra Judicial Execution Victims Families Association v. Union of India (2017) 8 SCC 417 and People’s Union for Civil Liberties v. State of Maharashtra, it prayed.

It sought for a direction to preserve the graves of the victims from any tampering pending investigation of the case.

The petitioner also prayed that the government be directed to constitute a high powered committee to analyze the aspect of criminalizing custodial killings and fake encounters by way of a special legislation.

In addition, it requested for constitution the State Human Rights Commission and Human Rights Courts in J&K which were abolished after the abrogation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and its relegation to a union territory.

The petition furthermore pleaded a compensation of Rs 1 crore each to the family of the slain youth.

Salih Pirzada, counsel for the petitioner, sought a short adjournment to ascertain and verify the nature of the proceedings in the above filed writ petition.

“Let him verify the same and address the court on the next date,” ordered the court and listed the matter on 23rd of October, 2020.

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