Indian Penal Code

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.

A need for clarity

And as each circular carries a grim warning of non-compliance leading to prosecution in terms of the Disaster Management Act and Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, it also carries with it the risk of draconian interpretation by those implementing rules on ground.

The perception of sedition

The plucky teenager seemed undaunted and kept trying to grab back the mike to continue speaking, but was overwhelmed by the sea of swarthy men jostling her, snatching the mike away, till finally she was led off the stage by uniformed policemen.