The Supreme Court on Friday directed the government of Uttar Pradesh government to file a comprehensive affidavit regarding the probe it conducted into the killings of gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf Ahmed, who were shot dead on April 15, while being taken to a hospital in Prayagraj for medical check-up in police custody.
The Bench of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice Dipankar Datta further sought information on inquiry into encounter killings of the other accused in the Umesh Pal murder case, including Atiq Ahmed’s son Asad.
It also ordered the State of Uttar Pradesh to inform the Court about the steps taken in pursuance of the report of judicial enquiry commission led by Justice BS Chauhan, which held investigation into the Vikas Dubey encounter killing of 2020.
The order was passed on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Advocate Vishal Tiwari seeking independent inquiry into the killings of Ahmed brothers, which was captured live on television channels, as also in 183 other encounter killings in UP since 2017.
The petition further questioned the Justice Chauhan report, which gave UP Police a clean chit in the Vikas Dubey encounter case.
During the hearing, the Bench asked the UP government, how did the killers get the information that Ahmed brothers were being taken to a hospital.
The Apex Court further asked the police why it made the accused walk till the hospital entry gate, instead of taking them till there in an ambulance.
Representing the UP government, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi vehemently urged the Bench not to issue notice, saying that the state government had been probing into the deaths.
Contending that Atiq and his entire family were embroiled in heinous crimes for the last 30 years, Rohatgi said it was probable that the two were killed by those whose wrath they had encountered. This was one of the angles being looked into by the police, he added.