Gujarat forms STF to probe police encounter deaths

Last Updated: Friday, September 24, 2010 - 23:26

Ahmedabad: In an effort to prevent fake
encounters and avoid human rights violations, the Gujarat
government has formed a Special Task Force (STF) to probe the
deaths resulting from police encounters.

The STF will be monitored by a monitoring authority, a
government notification said.
According to the notification, which was submitted in
the Gujarat High Court today during hearing in the Ishrat
Jahan encounter case, the STF has been given autonomy to
investigate deaths resulting from police encounters.

The government has also formed Monitoring Authority,
which will be headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court
or of the Gujarat High Court, to monitor the investigation by
the STF.

The STF and Monitoring Authority were formed vide
government notification dated September 16.

"It is desirable in the larger public interest and
with a view to ensure that while on one hand there is an
absolute need to prevent fake encounters, it is equally
necessary and in public interest to ensure that police force
in the state is not demoralised," it stated.
The rationale behind having a monitoring authority is
to ensure that investigation by the STF is independent and in
right direction, it said.

"The incidence of death due to police encounters,
through rare in Gujarat, occur sometimes, affecting human
rights and causing public concern," the notification issued by
the State Home Department said.

The National Human Rights Commission has also laid
down guidelines to be followed in police encounter cases, it
further said.

The STF which will function directly under the state
Director General of Police (DGP), will be headed by officer of
the rank of IG and will constitute one DIG, three SP rank
officers, four Deputy SPs and five Police Inspectors.

The Inspector General of the range where the encounter
takes place would also be made member of the STF.

The procedure to be followed by the STF would be
devised by the Monitoring Authority which could be on the
lines of manual of the CBI and the state CID.

The Monitoring Authority that will monitor
investigation of STF will have state IG (Law and Order) as its
member secretary.

It would also include one member from the Gujarat
State Human Rights Commission, district judge from the
district where the encounter takes place, Principal Secretary
Home, DGP, an ADGP rank officer from other state and Director
of State Forensic Science department.

PTI



First Published: Friday, September 24, 2010 - 23:26

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