Send intimation of custodial, encounter deaths: NHRC to UTs of J&K, Ladakh

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New Delhi (NVI): The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh to intimate it about any custodial or encounter deaths as per the laid guidelines in the regard.

As per the NHRC guidelines to all states, a custodial death has to be brought to the Commission’s attention in 24 hours and an encounter death in 48 hours.

NHRC Secretary General, Jaideep Govind has sent a letter to the Chief Secretary of Union Territory of J&K and Commissioner Secretary, Union Territory of Ladakh on June 30, requesting them to pass suitable instructions to the concerned for compliance of all instructions issued by the Commission to send all requisite reports.

These include post-mortem, videography and magisterial enquiry report etc. in all custodial deaths and encounter deaths, NHRC said in a statement.

The NHRC Secretary General has said that the erstwhile State of J&K was not under statutory obligation to follow the mandate of the Commission by sending intimations, in such cases of deaths in custody or encounter, in view of protection given in respect of subjects mentioned in List II of VII Schedule of the Constitution (State subjects) in the PHR Act.

However, after Amendment of PHR Act in the year 2019, following the abrogation of Article 370, there is no prohibition of exercising jurisdiction by the Commission like in all other States and UTs.

“Therefore, it is incumbent upon the UT of J&K to follow the NHRC guidelines issued by the NHRC, India in case of custodial and encounter deaths, happened within the territory of UT of J&K,” the Commission said.