SC asks inquiry commission to look into Hyd encounter

Hyderabad encounter: SC asks inquiry commission to ascertain if offence committed in death of four accused

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant on January 10 passed an order spelling out the terms of reference of the Inquiry Commission, appointed on December 12.

The Supreme Court has asked the Justice V S Sirpurkar Inquiry Commission to fix the responsibility of erring officials after ascertaining if any offence was committed in death of four accused in the sensational rape and murder of a veterinary doctor in police encounter in Hyderabad on December 6.

The charred body of the victim was found on November 28, triggering massive outrage across the country. However, the killing of all the four accused in encounter subsequently by the Hyderabad police who received a loud cheer and rose petals from the public, raised a question mark over the due process.

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant on January 10 passed an order spelling out the terms of reference of the Inquiry Commission, appointed on December 12.

The Commission would “inquire into the alleged incident resulting in the death of four persons namely, Mohammed Arif, Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu, Jolu Shiva and Jollu Naveen, arrested in connection with the rape and murder of a young veterinary lady doctor, while they were in the custody of police”.

It would also “inquire into the circumstances that led to the death of four persons and to ascertain as to whether any offence appears to have been committed in the course. If yes, to fix the responsibility of erring officials”.

It directed for payment of Rs 1.5 lakh to the chairman, Justice Sirpurkar, former SC judge, and Rs one lakh to the members for each sitting of the Commission.

The court had earlier set up the Commission and gave 6-month time to it for completing the inquiry. Ex Bombay HC judge Rekha Baldota and former CBI chief D R Karthikeyan were named as members of the Commission.

The court's directions had come on petitions filed by advocates G S Mani and Pradeep K Yadav, M L Sharma and Mukesh Kumar Sharma seeking an independent probe, among others, into the encounter.

On January 10, the court gave two weeks time to the Press Council of India and Press Trust of India for their response for restraining the media from publishing reports related to the proceedings of the Inquiry Commission.

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