The Supreme Court on Monday ordered immediate arrest of two senior Rajasthan police officers in the alleged fake encounter killing of Dara Singh, who according to the state government’s claim was a “dreaded gangster.”"Police personnel involved in fake encounter killings should be awarded death sentence and hanged," said a bench of justice Markandeya Katju and justice CK Prasad, directing the CBI to arrest additional DGP Arvind Jain and additional SP Arshad Ali, if the two failed to surrender. Besides, a police informer and three policemen of junior rank will also be arrested for the alleged killing.
The bench added: “Police personnel as custodians of law are expected to protect people and not eliminate them as contract killers. Fake encounter killings by cops are nothing but cold- blooded brutal murder which should be treated as the rarest of rare offence and police personnel responsible for it should be awarded death sentence.”
When Singh’s widow Sushila Devi alleged former state minister, Rajender Rathore, was also an absconder, the bench said: “The same parameters will apply and the law shall take its own course. If crimes are committed by ordinary people, ordinary punishment should be given but if the offence is committed by policemen much harsher punishment should be given to them because they do an act totally contrary to their duties.”
The court gave four weeks time to file a status report before it. It also quashed a criminal case against some CBI officials that was registered on the orders of additional chief metropolitan magistrate, Jaipur, following a complaint filed by an arrested accused. The complainant had alleged the CBI officers had subjected him to third degree torture after arresting him.
Jain and Ali were part of the Special Operations Group that allegedly eliminated Dara Singh on October 23, 2006 in a fake encounter. On the widow's petition, the SC had in April last directed a CBI probe.