Hyderabad vet rape and murder: Supreme Court to appoint ex-judge to probe killing of accused

Posts case for further hearing on December 12.

December 11, 2019 02:26 pm | Updated December 12, 2019 01:26 am IST - NEW DELHI

Mother of encountered Mohammed Areef who was the prime accused in the Disha case is distraught over her sons death, in Jakkulare village near Maktal on Friday.

Mother of encountered Mohammed Areef who was the prime accused in the Disha case is distraught over her sons death, in Jakkulare village near Maktal on Friday.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it intended to appoint a retired apex court judge to enquire into the extra-judicial killing of four men accused of the rape and murder of a veterinarian in Hyderabad.

Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad A. Bobde informed the petitoners, advocates G.S. Mani and Mukesh Kumar Sharma, and the Telangana government that the court had tapped its former judge, Justice (retired) P.V. Reddi, to take up the assignment, but he had declined.

Chief Justice Bobde said the court would approach another retired Supreme Court judge for the job.

“We know that the Telangana High Court is already seized of the case. We have only entertained this case to appoint a retired Supreme Court judge to enquire into encounter. He will do so from Delhi," Chief Justice Bobde remarked at the beginning of the hearing.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, for Telangana, submitted that the State was already complying with the Supreme Court's 16 guidelines in cases of police encounters as per the PUCL judgment of 2014.

The CJI posted the case for further hearing on December 12.

Plea for CBI probe

Mr. Mani’s petition had sought a CBI or a special investigation team probe against Cyberbad Police Commissioner V.C. Sajjanar, who is a respondent in the petition. He said the encounter was a red herring, deliberately done to turn public attention away from the police's inability to prevent such crimes against women.

The petitions were filed last week on a day when the CJI and the second most senior judge of the court Justice N.V. Ramana both voiced their apprehension over the tendency to seek “instant justice” and “revenge”.

“Justice can never be instant and should not take the form of revenge,” the CJI said in a speech at the inauguration of a new building of the Rajasthan High Court in Jodhpur on December 7.

The petitions urged the court to call for police records of the case and further order an inquiry into the “encounter” in accordance with the apex court’s 16 guidelines.

As per the police, all the four accused - Mohammed Arif, Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu, Jollu Shiva and Jollu Naveen - were taken to the scene of the crime around 60 km from Hyderabad in the early hours of December 6 for a reconstruction of the crime scene. They allegedly then grabbed the weapons of the police team and opened fire. In the retaliatory fire, the accused died, the police said.

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