Thursday, February 9, 2023

Vikas Dubey Encounter Killing: Ex-SC Judge BS Chauhan To Head Enquiry Commission

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Retired Allahabad judge S K Agarwal retained from original state commission; the top police officer, also in the commission, is former DGP KL Gupta; commission to submit report in 2 months.

The Supreme Court and the Uttar Pradesh government converged on a point of agreement on the fresh constitution of an inquiry commission to look into the encounter killing of gangster Vikas Dubey on July 10. It was agreed that former Supreme Court Judge BS Chauhan, based out of Allahabad, would head the inquiry commission and top police officer also in the commission is former Director General of Police KL Gupta.

In court today (July 22), Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the bench headed by Chief Justice S. A. Bobde that former Supreme Court Judge BS Chauhan, based out of Allahabad, had been approached to be a part of the enquiry committee. The SG said that Justice Chauhan “has agreed”.

The SG also informed the court that former Director General of Police KL Gupta will also be a part of the commission. He said that all background checks have been conducted for the former DGP.

Then Mehta said: “The issue is that whether the gangster killed in the alleged encounter was genuine or not… When he was being brought in transit remand from Madhya Pradesh to Uttar Pradesh…”

At this the original petitioner, Ghanshyam Upadhyay interrupted, but the SG continued: “We have changed the terms of reference of the inquiry committee to inquire into events of killing of police officials.”

At this the CJI asked: “How are you saying Dubey was killed?”

The SG replied: “We will change it to alleged killing.”

The SG added: “The probe team will inquire into circumstances which resulted in the release of Vikas Dubey on bail or parole inspite of facing 64 criminal cases and will ascertain the role and inaction of state functionaries.” 

The CJI reminded the SG: “We consider this the most important factor of all, the Vikas Dubey encounter.”

The SG said: “We can make the terms of reference wider if the court wants.”

The CJI said: “Enquiry into the role/inaction of authorities who dealt with the matter for the state.” 

The SG added: “Enquire into whether efforts were made to cancel bail granted.”

At this advocate Upadhyay said that the role of non state persons should also be probed. This, thought, did not satisfy the CJI who said: “We are looking into this. Please keep quiet.”

When Upadhyay said “there are serious doubts with regard to the case of the state,” the CJI answered: “You shouldn’t find fault with the choice of Justice Chauhan.”

Advocate Vishal Tiwari, the other petitioner, said: “What the state has done is, they have intermingled the issue. They had encountered six accused persons. FIRs should also be registered against police personnel who were involved in the encounter. There are guidelines for that.”

This prayer was refused by the CJI, asking Tiwari to approach the Allahabad HC for registration of FIR.

The CJI also asked SG for an assurance from the UP government to ensure that this kind of incidents won’t happen again. 

Read the order here;


     –  India Legal Bureau

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