Supreme Court Orders Judicial Inquiry Into Hyderabad Encounter
The Supreme Court on Thursday constituted a three-member inquiry commission to probe the encounter of four men accused of a gang rape and brutal murder of a 26-year old veterinary doctor in Hyderabad.
Former Supreme Court judge – VS Sripurkar will head the commission while Retired Bombay High Court judge Rekha Baldota and former CBI Director Kartikeyan will be the other members of the commission.
The commission is given six months to submit the report. The decision came after hearing two public interest litigations (PIL) asking for an independent probe into the deaths of the accused. The chief justice of India S.A Bobde said that there should be an impartial inquiry into the incident.
“If you say you’re going to prosecute them (policemen involved in the encounter) in criminal court, there is nothing for us to do. But if you say they’re innocent then people must know the truth. We don’t want to assume facts. Let there be an inquiry, why are you resistant to that?” the CJI told senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who represented the state of Telangana.
The police have justified the encounter as an act of self-defence after the accused attacked them. Justices S A Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna who were listening to the petitions said that there should be an impartial inquiry into the matter.
The four men – Mohammed Areef, Jollu Shiva, Jollu Naveen and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu – were accused of rape and murder of the veterinarian on the intervening night of November 27 and 28.
They were subsequently arrested and on December 6, they were killed in an encounter at the same place where they allegedly burnt the body of the veterinarian. The cops had taken these accused to the same spot for the recreation of the incident.