Legal Guidelines Issued by Government About Police Encounter Investigations

Legal Guidelines Issued by Government About Police Encounter Investigations

Police encounters are commonly heard of in India and most of us are even aware about many cases that smell fishy as well. Even government as taken notice of some fake encounter cases that have come forward and hence issued certain guidelines that the police department needs to adhere to in order to streamline the whole procedure and for investigation convenience as well.
1. It is mandatory put information regarding any tip off regarding a criminal offense in some form or the other either in writing (case diary preferably) or electronically, by a higher authority. Though, it is not mandatory to reveal all the details about the information like location or suspect.
2. If an encounter occurs post the tip-off or intelligence information, then it is mandatory to file an immediate FIR as per the procedure described under section 158 and forward it to the court under section 157.
3. The police team of another police station or the CID has to investigate the encounter or incident under the supervision of senior officer or atleast an officer of the same cadre to that of the one involved in the encounter. The team will need to collect the following information from site as well.
a. Identify the victim and take color pictures of him/ her. | b. Collect and preserve evidence related material like blood stained clothes, earth, hair, threads, equipment, fibers and more.
b. Identify and collect details of witnesses on site including their name, contact, address and more. Write down their statements or record them on video/ audio. Also, take down the statements of the police personnel involved in the encounter and pictures, video or sketch of the scene. Note down the death time and the whole process of the encounter that resulted in the death of the criminal.
c. Send the untouched finger prints of the deceased for chemical analysis. Also, any other finger prints collected on site have to be sent as well.
d. Evidence like weapons, cartridges, bullets, cartridge cases and more need to be taken into custody and preserved. Gun shot residue tests as well as metal detection traces need to be carried out wherever applicable.
e. It is necessary to note down the cause of death of the deceased, whether it was a suicide, homicide, encounter, natural or accidental death.
f. Two doctors need to conduct the postmortem of the deceased in the district hospital and one of them must be the hospital head or incharge. It is mandatory to cover the process through videography and preserve it.
9. The encounter information needs to be immediately sent to the NHRC or state human rights commission as per the case. Though NHRC need not necessarily get involved unless there is some doubt about the investigation or the encounter’s authenticity.
10. If the victim is injured in the encounter, then immediate medical aid needs to be provided to the victim and his/her statement has to be recorded in front of the medical officer or the magistrate. A medical fitness certificate also needs to be acquired from the officer.
11. In all the cases, where the encounter has resulted into death or deaths, a magisterial inquiry becomes mandatory under section 176 and the report of the it has to be sent to the judicial magistrate under section 190.
12. In case of death, the immediate relative of the criminal/ victim must be informed immediately.
13. In case of death or deaths in an encounter, it is mandatory to send half yearly statements of the cases of police firing to NHRC by the DGP’s. The due date for the statements is set to January and July 14. The format for the statement needs to be as follows and wherever applicable documents of reports have to be attached.
1. Criminal case no.
2. Investigating agency
3. Date/ Place of death
4. Situation resulting to death
a. Self defense | b. unlawful assemble dispersal course | c. affecting arrest course
5. Facts about the incident in brief
6. Report from inquiry by senior officers/ magistrate
7. Information related to
a. Police personnel responsible for the death |b. Information on use of force, lawful action or not.
15. In case if the conclusion report show evidence of a fake or unlawful encounter amounting to offense under the IPC, then disciplinary action against the responsible officer needs to be taken promptly after immediate suspension.

* Disclaimer – Sourced from the internet. Verification required

Written Agreements – A Smart Idea

The times when people used to make a promise and stay true to them for their rest of their lives, are not a reality anymore. Today, in order to keep many of the undesirable tiffs or issues between two people, its advisable to seal the agreement with a legal stamp. There are a lot of reasons beyond betrayal or denial for doing so.

Written Agreements - A Smart Idea
1. Situation – Sometimes, we make promises in a certain mood or situation. If we do not put on paper, their value might decrease. For a period when relationship with the person or people you get into agreement is going smooth, it might work well but the time the relationship develops some bitterness or sourness, it might not work. Hence, if it is a vital agreement, then a good idea to keep it on paper.

2. Memory Issues – Certain agreements tend to be forgotten with time unless they are jot down officially. Further, if you just get unlucky around the death of the person or any sort of memory loss due to an accident, a written agreement would certainly help you sail the situation.

3. Clarity Purpose – Many a times, orally spoken agreements are not understood by one or the other participant. If the same is written down, in a clear cut and understandable language, it works best.

4. Attention – Generally, people don’t pay much heed to oral agreements as they are well aware that there are no chances of them getting into any kind of soup in case they do not abide to the agreement later. But, when an agreement is written down, people not only read it carefully but they know that they are obliged to abide by it.

5. Avoid relationship issues – When agreements are verbally agreed between two people in good terms with each other, and one of them happens to ditch the agreement then as nothing is there on paper, the other becomes helpless and it only results in relationship getting sour. With a written agreement in place, you may as well avoid such issues.

6. Avoid Frauds – Lets face it. There is never a guarantee that everyone would be true to their word, its just outright unrealistic in the present age. A written agreement is by far an apt solution to keep fraud at bay and even if it occurs, you have a proof document to win the case, if you decide to go the court way.

These are just some of the issues that you might have to face if you just take a leap of faith and do not opt for written agreements. Therefore, a smart idea definitely would be having a written agreement to support the verbal ones. More importantly, after putting the verbal contract down in writing, read it carefully and clear every associated doubt around as well.