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Hyderabad encounter: Ex-SC judge to head 3-member inquiry panel, orders Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has ordered an independent commission to inquire into the killing of the four men accused of the rape and murder of a 26-year-old woman in Telangana last week

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk New Delhi Updated on: December 12, 2019 14:49 IST
Supreme Court orders three member judicial inquiry into Telangana Encounter
Image Source : PTI

Supreme Court orders three member judicial inquiry into Telangana Encounter 

Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a three member judicial inquiry to probe the encounter of four men who were accused of raping and murdering a 26-year-old Hyderabad veterinarian. The commission will be headed by former Supreme Court judge VS Sirpurkar. The two others on the panel are former Bombay High Court judge Rekha Baldota and former CBI chief B Kartikeyan. The top court said that no other court or authority shall inquire into this matter until further orders of this court. The top court further said there should be an "impartial inquiry" into the encounter killing of the accused.

The commission has to submit its report within six months.

The top court grilled senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the Telangana government, on many aspects of the alleged encounter of the accused by the state police, and emphasised there should be an independent and unbiased inquiry into this incident.

The Chief Justice queried Rohatgi on the details of the circumstances which led to the police firing at the accused. "Why were the police officials, accompanying the accused to the crime scene, carrying loaded guns...why did the accused attack the policemen with stones, when they had snatched arms...Were they historysheeters?" said the Chief Justice in a volley of questions.

An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde was hearing two public interest litigations seeking an independent probe into the deaths last week. The Telangana government justified the encounter, saying the accused snatched two firearms and shot at a police party.

"We are of the considered view that there should be impartial inquiry into the encounter deaths of the four people accused in the gangrape and murder of a veterinarian in Telangana," the bench, also comprising Justices S A Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna, said.

There are "aspects of your (Telangana) version which needed an inquiry", it observed.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi  said no policemen received bullet injuries but got injured in the attack by the accused who were using stone and sticks.

Last week, the Telangana police said they killed the four suspects -- all lorry workers in their twenties -- when they attacked policemen near the crime scene (near Hyderabad), where they'd been taken to help retrieve the victim's personal belongings.

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