On 21st July,the constitution of an inquiry commission headed by Justice B S Chauhan, former Supreme Court judge was approved by the apex Court to probe into the genuineness of the encounter killing of UP gangster Vikas Dubey.
The Solicitor General’s contributions
The Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta, representing the government of Uttar Pradesh Government suggested Justice Chauhan’s name.
The SG informed the CJI SA Bobde’s bench that Justice Chauhan has given his assent to be a part of commission.
The name of former UP Director General of Police, KL Gupta, was also submitted to be a part of the probe team after all background checks.
The Commission will enquire into circumstances which led to the release of Vikas Dubey on bail/parole despite facing nearly 65 criminal cases.
Observations were made by the CJI that the inquiry into the failure of any state functionaries which led to the release of Dubey was an “important factor”.
The SC approved the names suggested by the Solicitor General and directed the Commission to start functioning at the earliest, within a period of 1 week from today. Further directions to submit a report to the Apex court within two months in terms of Commission of Inquiry Act was asked.
The Court further ordered that the Union should provide secretarial assistance directed by the chairman of the Commission in Vikas Dubey encounter Inquiry .
The suggestions of the petitioner GhanshyamUpadhyay to include the judges proposed by him in the Commission were not accepted by the Court.The petitioner had submitted a list including former Chief Justices of India TS Thakur and RM Lodha, and former Justices Santosh Hegde, Anil R. Dave, Kurian Joseph, Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla, MY Eqbal, AK Patnaik, Vikramjit Sen, KS PanickerRadhakrishnan, and HL Gokhale. Recently retired Justices Deepak Gupta and R. Banumathi were also included in the list.
CJI endorsing the selection of Justice Chauhan communicated to the petitioner that, “you should not find fault in constitution of commission with Justice Chauhan”.
Clarification were made by the petitioner that he did not doubt the credentials of Justice Chauhan, but wanted an inclusion of a judge from the High Court as well.
Overruling the reservations expressed by the petitioner about the Commission functioning in the State of UP, the Court noted the Commission to be based at Kanpur.
The bench expressed that it will not monitor the investigation held by SIT of UP police into the matter, further turning down the plea made by Senior Advocate Sanjay Parikh(appearing for another petitioner).
On July 10 in the wake of UP police killing five of the aides of Dubey in encounters, Upadhyay, a Mumbai-based lawyer, had filed the petition where he voiced that if there was no urgent intervention by the Court, Dubey also would be killed in encounter as an apprehension.
Dubey was killed on the morning of July 11, in an encounter which happened while he was being taken from Ujjain (MP) to Kanpur, even before his petition was listed.
Claims by the police have been made that Dubey had tried to escape after snatching a police rife, following the overturning of a vehicle in the convoy.
A counter-affidavit has been filed by the UP Police in the Court stating that the encounter of Dubey was a real one and not a manufactured one to flee and kill the Cops who were guarding him.
The police narrating the incident which lead to the eventual death of Vikas Dubey addressed that it was the result of a cross-fire between Dubey and the Police Personnel after the SUV carrying him overturned due to “heavy rainfall” which started at Barajor Toll Plaza and a “herd of cattle that suddenly came running on the road from the right side” leading to the police personnel getting seriously injured and losing consciousness, during which Dubey snatched the pistol and escaped from one of the Personnel.
A SIT headed by Additional Chief Secretary Sanjay Bhusreddy has been formed by the UP Government to investigate involvement of the police in his deep-rooted criminal network and the rise of Vikas Dubey.