During the hearing, the Telangana government justified the encounter, saying the accused snatched two firearms and shot at a police party. (Photo Credit: PTI File Photo)
The Supreme Court ordered inquiry into the encounter killings of the four men accused in the gangrape and murder of a veterinarian in Telangana’s Hyderabad. An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde was hearing two public interest pleas seeking an independent probe into the deaths last week. A three-member judicial inquiry will be headed by former Supreme Court judge VS Sirpurkar. The top court says no other court or authority shall inquire into this matter until further orders of this court. “We are not saying police is guilty. There are some aspects of your version (police) that need probing. We will order probe and you should cooperate. Our enquiry is about what police did," the top court said.
During the hearing, the Telangana government justified the encounter, saying the accused snatched two firearms and shot at a police party. "We may be desiring another probe into the police action. But we are not closing our eyes on what they (accused) did," Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde further added.
The bench, also comprising Justices SA Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna, said there are "aspects of your (Telangana) version which needed an inquiry." Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Telangana government, said no policemen received bullet injuries but got injured in the attack by the accused who were using stone and sticks.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court had indicated that it is likely to appoint a retired top court judge to probe the encounter of four accused in Hyderabad’s veterinary doctor’s gangrape and murder case. The Supreme Court said that it was aware about the Telangana High Court’s decision. “We propose to appoint former Supreme Court judge to inquire into the matter who will sit in Delhi and inquire into the incident,” Chief Justice of India SA Bobde had said. It clarified that the former apex court judge, who would enquire into the incident, would sit in Delhi.
Amid growing concerns over the Hyderabad encounter in which the four accused were killed by the police in an ‘act of self-defence’, Chief Justice of Indian Sharad Arvind Bobde has spoken against justice becoming revenge. Addressing an event during the inauguration of the new building of Rajasthan High Court in Jodhpur, CJI Bobde said that, “I believe justice loses its character as justice if it becomes revenge.” The comment gains significance as several people had pointed out at poor judicial records in terms of the rape cases in India. “I don’t think justice can ever be and ought to be instant," he further said.
Meanwhile, a seven-member NHRC committee began its inquiry into the alleged police encounter in which all four accused in the rape and murder of a young veterinarian rape and murder were killed, visiting the mortuary at a state-run hospital in Mahabubnagar district, where their bodies have been kept after post-mortem.