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Encounters must not become SOP for criminal justice: Roy


Kolkata: Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy here on Saturday criticised shooting down of the four accused by the police in the Hyderabad gangrape and murder case, saying kangaroo courts and encounters must not become the standard operating procedure (SOP) for dispensing criminal justice.

"I am of the firm view that kangaroo courts and encounters must not become the SOP for dispensing criminal justice, no matter how heinous the crime is. If these happen then the slide to the Maoist-style 'people's courts' is inevitable," he twitted.

The number of courts should be doubled and the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) amended to reduce the burden of proof on the prosecution, he said and added, make the proceedings time-bound by reducing adjournments, introduce protection for witnesses and whistle-blowers, etc.

Roy said encounters could be justified only in 'extreme cases' as in the case of the Chambal dacoits.

The Governor said the due process of law needed to be followed before the punishment become effective. "The punishment can commence only after those committing criminal acts are arrested, charges framed against them, taken to court and the judiciary pronounces sentence against them," he said.

On Friday, more than a week after gang-rape and murder of a young veterinarian in Hyderabad, the police shot dead all the four accused in an alleged 'encounter' near Shadnagar town of Telangana's Ranga Reddy district.

The accused were gunned down when they allegedly tried to snatch weapons from the police and escape. Police sources said they acted in self-defence.

The incident occurred between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. at Chatanpally near Shadnagar town, about 50 km from Hyderabad.



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