Indian Penal Code

NIA’s challenge

The case filed against Sikh separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun by the National Investigative Agency (NIA) adds another thread to the ongoing saga of regional tensions.

Police encounters

The prevailing public impression is that police encounters are generally illegal and mostly fake. This, however, is an erroneous impression. Encounters per se are not illegal. The Criminal Procedure Code and the Indian Penal Code, permit use of force in exercise of the right of private defence. Section 46(3) of the CRPC empowers police to use force to the extent of causing death of a person accused of an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life if such a person resists arrest or intends to evade arrest. Thus, an encounter per se is neither illegal nor indefensible. Unfortunately many fake encounters also take place.