Dubey encounter: Supreme Court asks UP to keep ex-judge, DGP in panel
The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Uttar Pradesh government to consider appointing a retired Supreme Court judge and a former Director General of Police in a panel enquiring the July 10 encounter killing of dreaded gangster Vikas Dubey, even as the top court observed that it was the “failure of the institution” that a criminal who should have been in jail was out on bail instead.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the UP government, agreed to bring a draft notification by Wednesday that will have the names of the retired Supreme Court judge and a former DGP selected by the state government. Once it is approved by the apex court, the same shall be notified.
The state appointed retired Allahabad high court judge Shashi Kant Agarwal on July 12 to investigate the death of the gangster, who faced over 60 criminal cases, in an alleged encounter. “We are appalled at the fact that such a person was released on bail despite having so many cases. As an institution we have failed to keep a person behind bars,” a bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said, hearing a batch of pleas against the killing of Dubey and his associates by the police.
The three-judge bench, also comprising Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, told the Uttar Pradesh government that it was the state’s duty to uphold the rule of law.
Dubey, who faced over 60 criminal cases, was shot dead on July 10 after he tried to escape from police custody while being transported to Kanpur, officials said. He was arrested from Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain the previous day.
Dubey and his associates killed eight policemen, including a deputy superintendent of police, in a 15-minute ambush in Bikru village near Kanpur city on July 3 after the police team reached there to carry out a raid and arrest the gangster. Dubey and his aides escaped after the attack.
Before Dubey was shot dead — police said he snatched a pistol from an official, fired at the team bringing him back to Kanpur and tried to escape after the vehicle carrying him overturned — five of his alleged accomplices too were killed in separate encounters.
The court had indicated last week that it was keen to set up a judicial committee to probe the Dubey killing incident similar to the one it had set up in December 2019 when four rape-murder accused were shot dead in an encounter with Telangana police.
Senior advocate Harish Salve, who represented UP DGP told the Court that a judicial enquiry in this case will demoralize the police force. He said the policemen’s rights when faced with a dreaded criminal who slaughtered policemen, must be upheld as well.
The bench said, “If rule of law is to be strengthened, it will not demoralize forces…. You (police) must also understand that you are responsible for maintaining rule of law. It requires arrest, trial and sentence, if guilty.”
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