National Conference on Human Rights – Session V: “Extra Judicial Killings & The Judicial Response”
Welcome Address – Ko. Sugumaran, Exco Member, NCHRO
Welcome: Ko. Sugumaran – Exco Member, NCHRO
Chair: Narendra Mohanthi – Treasurer, NCHRO
Keynote: Parvez Bari – Journalist, Bhopal
Speakers: Parveena Ahanger – Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, Kashmir
Elyas Muhammad Thumbe – Alliance for Justice and Peace
The right to life is a fundamental right because, without it, the enjoyment of other rights is not possible and once taken it can never been restored. The right to life imposes upon states the duty to abstain from arbitrarily killing individuals under their jurisdiction.
Extra Judicial killings are again on the rise and are being categorized under a new vocabulary of “crossfire” or encounters”. The police-politician nexus and extrajudicial killings assumed blatant proportions in our country. The alarming rise of extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances/abductions without anyone being held accountable is a mockery on our constitution.
Accountability is a facet of the rule of law but extra judicial killings persists because of overwhelming barriers to accountability. Even we have cases of paid assassins. There is a climate of impunity and many of these extra judicial killing cases there was no inquiry at all. In some instances, the First Information Report was against the victim and not against the alleged perpetrators.
Weak probes into extrajudicial killings, the failure to prosecute those involved and the absence of a compensation system for the victim’s family’s shows how the government and courts have failed to take effective measures to end encounter deaths. There is no independent body in India that is in combating extrajudicial killings. Witness intimidation and sometimes witness murder and scant investigation are the fate for these killings.
The government has failed to satisfactorily demonstrate its opposition to extrajudicial killings. Indeed, there is evidence that both the central and state governments actively encourage this practice. Moreover, the government steadfastly refuses to change laws that have been rightly condemned as operating to protect those who commit extrajudicial killings. The belief of assured impunity is disturbing.
The problems within the judicial system contribute to the climate of impunity that allows extrajudicial killings to occur. The reality of the Indian judicial system is that long delays are the rule rather than the exception, and such delays are measured in years. Such delays impede the process of bringing to justice those who commit extrajudicial killings, in many cases making conviction impossible due to the length of time that has passed.
For effective administration of justice in a democracy; courts have a definite and decisive role to play. The judiciary will have to bring back the confidence of the people in it by speedily disposing cases involving human rights violations, holding the perpetrators fully accountable to the crimes. The Indian government needs to urgently reform the administrative and criminal justice systems to deter these abuses by holding the agencies accountable.
As with all human rights, the “right to life” could only come into existence as an “enforceable claim” through continuous development and hands-on work by human rights defenders.
YouTube Videos uploaded by Delegates:-
1) Prof. Nivedita Menon, JNU on Universities and Academic Freedom :- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifv633-H_WM
2) Umar Khaild, JNU on Universities and Academic Freedom :- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhwpC0BqRMc
3) Vasantha Kumari Wife of Prof. Saibaba :- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYtm_gNOrKQ
4) Shadaf Mushraf (Sister of missing JNU scholar Najeeb) :- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2-4OtJsyYY
5) Cultural Program by Sangwari Group :- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTC_rjwu4h8