‘Withholding prosecution will be seen as shielding perpetrators of extrajudicial execution’
IMPHAL | Mar 10
The Extra-Judicial Execution Victim Families Association Manipur (EEVFAM) and Human Rights Alert (HRA) has expressed deep concern at the undue delay of the government of Manipur in responding to the request of the CBI/SIT to grant prosecution sanction of the police personnel charge-sheeted under various offences including murder in connection to the extrajudicial executions in pursuance to the Supreme Court judgment in the EEVFAM v/s UoI.
Due to this delay, the chief judicial magistrates have started returning back the charge-sheets, said a release. Citing the reasons why the Government of Manipur should promptly grant the prosecution sanction, the release stated that Act of extrajudicial execution cannot be termed as a ‘discharge of official duty’.
Prosecution sanction are only limited to public servants as defined in section 21 of the India Penal Code i.e. only to those public servants not removable without prior sanction of the government ,it said adding none of the indicted police personnel falls within this category.
Any police personnel who is directly or indirectly involved in the conspiracy of the extrajudicial execution cannot claim protection behind the garb of “discharge of official duty,” it stated.
The release further stated that prosecution sanction is meant only to provide protection of public servant from frivolous and speculative allegations and is not meant to provide an umbrella to the misuse and abuse of powers by the public servant. The present issue is about granting prosecution sanction in cases where CBI has already filed charge-sheet after a thorough investigation based on material on record and appreciation of statement of witnesses; over and above the prior findings of the NHRC and High Court to be fake encounters, it informed.
Once the prosecution sanction is sought or applied, the state government is obliged to give a decision either granting or denying the prosecution sanction at the earliest, it stated. For instance, in the state of Maharastra, if the prosecution sanction is applied and the government does not act within a period of three months, the same is deemed to be granted, it added. The release further said that delay in granting the prosecution sanction is not in the interest of justice and rule of law. A thorough, prompt, impartial and independent investigation and prosecution of perpetrators of extrajudicial execution is an obligation of the State under international law, it added.
Inordinate delay or withholding prosecution sanction will erode public trust in the present government as it will be seen to be shielding the perpetrators of extrajudicial execution, it said.
The BJP Manipur Pradesh Vision Document 2017 released prior to the last Assembly election clearly stated, “Action Points No. 8: Investigate Fake Encounter and Corruption Cases and Punish the Guilty. 1.1. Law and Order: BJP Manipur Pradesh is committed to establishing a pro-people government for the service and welfare of the people of Manipur: 3. Starting Investigations in all pending corruption and fake encounter cases within one month of forming the government. All found guilty shall be punished as per law,” it added.
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