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Murder of Kasuali Officer -A challenge to the rule of law

Murder of Kasuali Officer -A challenge to the rule of law

The murder of an officer on duty allegedly by a guest house owner during compliance of Supreme Court orders at Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh has irked the Supreme Court deeply. The court has expressed its annoyance over the matter of non-implementation of the law by the state authorities.

"The death is not a result of the court's order. It is a result of the non-implementation of the law. The incident is very unfortunate. You have to ensure rule of law and implementation of law related to unauthorised constructions," the Bench told the counsel appearing for the State.

Strongly pulling up the Himachal Government authorities for failure to ensure safety of officers implementing its orders, the Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the state government to file an affidavit by May 9 giving the detailed progress in investigation into the murder of a woman official who was allegedly shot dead by a guest house owner during a court-ordered demolition drive in Kasauli on TuesdayMay 9 giving the detailed progress in investigation into the murder of a woman official who was allegedly shot dead by a guest house owner during a court-ordered demolition drive in Kasauli on Tuesday . .

She was doing her duty with calm and honesty to comply with the orders of the Supreme Court. The top court on April 17 had ordered the Himachal Pradesh state government to demolish unauthorised raised structures in several hotels and guest houses in Kasauli and Dharampur areas of Solan district. To carry out the orders, four teams of the officials were constituted. Shail Bala Sharma, an Assistant Town Planning Officer, was heading one such team. After a heated argument with the lady officer on Tuesday, Vijay Singh, the owner of Narayani Guest House at Kasauli allegedly shot her dead and succeeded in fleeing from the scene despite the presence of the police.

A double bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta took cognisance of the murder of Shail Bala Sharma and pulled up the state government for its inability to provide protection to the officers on duty.

The latest information reveals that the absconder Vijay Singh has been arrested by the police on Thursday. The police had announced a reward of Rs. 1 lakh for the informers giving clue of the person who killed the officer.

Kasuali is a famous tourist spot known for its heritage buildings and scenic views. The murder of the lady officer has raised several questions at the law and order of the tourist spot. Raising a question on the role of police, the bench asked on Wednesday, " What were they (other police officers present during the demolition drive) doing? Watching her get killed?" We might stop passing any orders if you are going to kill people."

Going back further, it raises further questions. Why were hoteliers allowed to encroach and construct illegally in the first place? Why did the officials in charge ignored such constructions all this while? And to fix what was wronged, an official ended up losing her life.


JAG MOHAN THAKEN

JAG MOHAN THAKEN

Chandigarh based freelance JOURNALIST / writer. Associated with Dastak Times, DAILY UTTAM HINDU ., ENGLISH DAILY - Yugmarg, TOP STORY and AFTERNOON VOICE


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