Former Chief Justice of India R.M Lodha on Tuesday has said that while we are celebrating the Human Rights Day, the fact of the matter is that we are struggling to protect human rights. Citing the gangrape and murder of a woman veterinarian in Hyderabad and the subsequent killing of all the four accused in a police "encounter", Lodha made the statement.
"Are we heading towards a society of lawlessness? Has the rule of law run its course? What happened to the constitutional rights and procedural safeguards?" asked Lodha while speaking at an event to mark Human Rights Day organised by the International Institute of Human Rights in New Delhi. "People are going back to the 17th century Hammurabi's code of laws: Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, and nail for nail," he added.
Ex-CJI Lodha insisted that criminals are not afraid of committing heinous crimes, and even sadder is the killing of the four accused in a police ''encounter''. He also cited the instance when a Telangana minister said that reconstruction of the crime scene was carried out on instructions from above and the police did what they were asked to do. "Are we junking due process and justice system? The demand for similar treatment by the people with the accused in the Unnao rape and murder case shows that an atmosphere of mob mentality is prevailing in the society," Lodha said. He also spoke about the state of women's safety in the country, saying that 92% of the Nirbhaya funds continues to remain unspent by the state governments.
The Telangana Police on Tuesday submitted its report to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on the killing of all four accused in the gang-rape and murder of a veterinarian on the outskirts of Hyderabad. Officers of Cyberabad Police Commissionerate submitted all details to the NHRC team, which is probing the December 6 'encounter', in which the police gunned down all the four accused at Chatanpally near Shadnagar town.
The bodies of the four accused in the veterinarian rape and murder case were shifted to Gandhi Hospital from Mahabubnagar Government Medical College on Tuesday after the Telangana High Court ordered to preserve their bodies till December 13. The Supreme Court will be hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed seeking a probe into the encounter of four accused in rape and murder of the Hyderabad vet on December 11.
(With agency inputs)