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Saturday 25 January 2020

Hyderabad ‘encounter’ to be probed by retired SC judge

The Supreme Court had said it was appointing a former judge to probe the Hyderabad case, but the advocate of the Telangana government argued that a judge could not investigate

The Supreme Court has constituted a three-member judicial commission to investigate the ‘encounter’ near Hyderabad where alleged rapists and murderers of a veterinarian were killed by the police, which will be headed by former Supreme Court judge VS Sirpurkar. This commission will submit its report to the apex court in six months. The court has said that no other court or authority will inquire into the matter until further orders of this court.

During the hearing of the case of the killing of four accused in the gang rape and murder of a veterinarian near Hyderabad by Telangana Police, CJI SA Bobde said on Thursday that the court was considering an independent investigation into the ‘encounter’. The CJI had recently taken strong exception to the idea of instant and retributive justice.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Telangana Police, said that the court had appointed a retired judge to oversee the investigation by the Supreme Court’s judicial commission but a judge could not conduct an inquiry.

The Supreme Court had on Wednesday said that it was considering appointing a former judge of the top court to investigate the Hyderabad ‘encounter’. Chief Justice Bobde-led bench said, “We are aware of the fact that the Telangana High Court has taken cognisance of this incident.” The bench said that the apex court only wanted that a former judge of the Supreme Court in Delhi should be given the case. “Our proposal is to appoint a former judge of the apex court to investigate the matter,” the CJI said.

The bench clarified that the former judge investigating the incident would have to stay and work in Delhi.

The bench had listed the PILs filed for conducting an independent investigation by a Special Investigation Team of the Hyderabad encounter for Thursday. On behalf of the Telangana government, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi and advocate Krishank Kumar Singh said that they had followed the instructions given by the apex court in the encounter case and had already handed over the case to the state CID.

Two petitions have been filed in the apex court for conducting independent investigation against the police officers concerned. The first petition was filed by advocate GS Mani while the second petition was filed by advocate ML Sharma.

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