NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday proposed to set up a committee headed by a retired apex court judge to inquire into the encounter killings of
gangster Vikas Dubey
and his four associates within seven days of the ambush in which eight Uttar Pradesh policemen were killed at Bikru village on July 3.
"We are ag-ainst a court-monitored investigation into the encounter killings. But we would like to do something similar to what we had done in the Telangana encounter killing case. All of you tell us what will be the composition of a good committee which can inquire into the incidents (encounter killings of Dubey and his associates by UP police),” said a bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices R S Reddy and A S Bopanna.
On December 12 last year, the SC had appointed a committee headed by retired SC judge V S Sirpurkar and comprising former Bombay HC judge Rekha Baldota and former CBI Director D R Karthikeyan to inquire into the alleged fake encounter killing of four men accused of gangrape and murder of a veterinarian. The committee was asked to submit its report to the SC in six months, a time period which has since passed.
Entertaining two PILs by advocates - Ghanshyam Upadhyay and Anoop Prakash Srivastava, the CJI-led bench explained its reluctance in ordering a court-monitored probe, saying this would inhibit the SC from hearing appeals against the findings of the committee later.
When the bench was seeking names from parties for inclusion as members of the inquiry committee,
General Tushar Mehta appeared for the UP government and said he wanted to put on record the steps taken so far by the state to carry out a detailed probe into the incidents as permissible under the law.
"The UP government has done as much possible under the law and I want to put everything on record. If after perusing the UP government's status report, the court felt to pass any other order, we will carry that out in letter and spirit," Mehta said.
The SC gave SG time till Thursday to file the status report on the inquiry mechanism set in motion by the state government and posted the two PILs for hearing on Monday. The UP government had on Sunday set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by additional chief secretary Sanjay Bhosreaddy, to probe Dubey's nexus with politicians, bureaucrats and police which allegedly helped him run his extortion and crime empire.
On Monday, the
government appointed retired HC judge
Shashi Kant Agarwal
headed one-member inquiry commission under
the Commission of Inquiry Act
, 1952, to investigate into the July 10 encounter in which Dubey was killed. The Commission will also probe all aspects of the ambush in which eight policemen were killed in Bikru village on July 3. It will submit its report to the government within two months.
The Agarwal panel, to be based in Kanpur, will also probe all the encounters which took place between police and members of Vikas Dubey gang between July 3 and July 10, in which four members of the gang were killed. It would also look into the relationship of Dubey and his associates with police personnel and those serving in other departments.