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SC not for reconstitution of policemen, Dubey killing probe panel

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad A. Bobde was initially circumspect about certain remarks made by Commission member and former DGP K.L. Gupta in the media on the police encounters.

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad A. Bobde was initially circumspect about certain remarks made by Commission member and former DGP K.L. Gupta in the media on the police encounters.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to reconstitute the Justice B.S. Chauhan Commission of Inquiry (CoI) set up by it to look into the gunning down of eight police officers on July 2 and the subsequent encounter deaths of their alleged assailants, history-sheeter Vikas Dubey and his associates.

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad A. Bobde was initially circumspect about certain remarks made by Commission member and former DGP K.L. Gupta in the media on the police encounters.

Also Read | SC asks U.P. to consider having ex-judge of top court in inquiry committee

However, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta read out the transcripts of what Mr. Gupta said in the media. The court then found Mr. Gupta’s views to be quite “balanced”.

“He is only saying that anyone found guilty will be punished. He has taken a balanced view. We cannot change the Commission. This is after all a Commission of Inquiry and not an investigation. Besides, Justice Chauhan is heading it. The media reports seem to be before he [Gupta] was made a member”, the CJI addressed advocate Ghanshyam Upadhyay, the petitioner.

The court dismissed the application, which was filed merely a couple of days after the court approved the Uttar Pradesh government’s choice of the Commission members - Mr. Gupta and former Allahabad High Court judge Shashikant Agrawal.

Also Read | Crime as punishment: On the killing of Vikas Dubey

The court did not even consider the allegations of bias against Justice Agrawal.

In his application, Mr. Upadhyay said Mr. Gupta had “justified the police encounter and supported the police versions in the case of encounter of Vikas Dubey” during a TV debate on July 23.

CoI’s tasks

Primary among the tasks cut out for the CoI is to find the truth about how Dubey was released from jail, who all in the State officialdom are responsible for his release and whether the State did anything at all to cancel his bail/parole.

Also Read | Gangster of Kanpur: on history-sheeter Vikas Dubey

The Commission has to also inquire into any “collusion” between the police or any State department with Dubey and suggest steps to prevent its recurrence in future.

On June 22, the court directed the Commission to begin work in a week and submit a report in in two months from the date of commencement of its functioning. The State would also place a copy of the CoI report in the Legislative Assembly as per the law.

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Printable version | Sep 30, 2020 9:05:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sc-not-for-reconstitution-of-policemen-dubey-killing-probe-panel/article32211568.ece

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