Encounter Killings- Instant Justice or Cold Blooded Murders?

Authors: Sakshi Singh and Tushar Batra, Students, School of Law, HILSR, Jamia Hamdard University, New Delhi, India



Mahatma Gandhi has rightly said, “An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind”. Extrajudicial or encounter killings in the name of instant justice is a trend that has gained a lot of popularity in our country. Just like there are two sides to every coin, the same is with such an act. There have always been two views on this issue. First is, that encounters are a way of providing instant justice to the people who have been accused of crimes. People who believe in this view even laud the police after they have carried out an encounter and moreover this is seen as a result of a media trial which has already declared the accused guilty of the crime. The Second view is that the State has no authority to take away the life of a person by way of any procedure that is not established by law and if found that the police is guilty of a fake encounter, they must be given the strictest punishment as laid under the law.This article aims at highlighting various controversial instances of police encounters, what is the view of the police, the various laws that are in place to protect the police in case they commit an encounter, the view of the judiciary in such cases, the various questions these encounters have raised and most importantly whether this kind of a killing is actually an alleged murder in the eyes of law or it is an honest act of self-defense?

Keywords: Encounter, Extrajudicial Killings, Rule of Law, Procedure established by Law


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