Rights groups move SC seeking justice for families

People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) filed a public interest litigation in July 2018 in the Supreme Court seeking a court-monitored probe into all police encounters in Uttar Pradesh since March 2017.

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“They (UP Police and Government) have conducted no investigations. Contrary to SC guidelines on extra-judicial killings, they have closed down cases on the ground that the accused have died. All these cases need to be opened and examined and families need to be compensated. Cops don’t get any special protection under the law and have to explain their actions,” said Sanjay Parikh, the advocate fighting on behalf of PUCL in the SC.

Besides PUCL, another organisation, Citizens Against Hate (CAH), which has conducted a fact-finding mission on the issue, approached the court with an impleadment application in November 2018. In their application, they also made a plea for providing protection to the families of the encounter victims due to reported intimidation and harassment by the police.

“Only in two high-profile cases, where there was an intense backlash, victims got some compensation. The family of Vivek Tiwari, an Apple employee who was killed by police and Jitendra Yadav, who was paralysed due to the result of a police shooting, were given compensation,” said Mangla Verma, an advocate with CAH.

The last hearing of this case was in February 2019 when PUCL was asked to file a compilation of individual cases.

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