Madurai, Oct 7 (UNI) Supreme Court Judge P Sadasivam said courts cannot remain silent spectators but can take suo moto notice when people take law into their hands.
Delivering the valedictory address at a 15-day training course on human rights for college students conducted by the Society for Community Organisation (SOCO), an NGO here, late last evening, Mr Justice Sadasivam, referring to the recent incidents of lynching of thieves by the public in Bihar, said ''people are right in apprehending the thieves. But they have no authority to lynch them.'' He also cited another incident of a policeman dragging a thief on his motorcycle.
It was a serious violation of human rights when people take law into their hands, he said and appealed to the public to report any act of human rights violation to the courts and law enforcing authorities.
Expressing serious concern over the increase in custodial deaths, he said a person guilty of committing a crime should be punished.
But until the court finds him guilty, he should not be treated as a convict and given all concessions and consideration of an average citizen.