Supreme Court hints at judicial probe in Vikas Dubey case
The Uttar police claimed Vikas Dubey was killed on Friday when he tried to flee after a car bringing him from Madhya Pradesh, where he was arrested for his alleged involvement in the July 3 killing of eight policemen in Kanpur, overturned.Updated: Jul 15, 2020 02:41 IST
The Supreme Court on Tuesday indicated that it may order a judicial probe into the killings of gangster Vikas Dubey and his associates as it issued a notice seeking Uttar Pradesh government’s response to a bunch of petitions demanding an independent investigation into them.
The Uttar police claimed Dubey was killed on Friday when he tried to flee after a car bringing him from Madhya Pradesh, where he was arrested for his alleged involvement in the July 3 killing of eight policemen in Kanpur, overturned. Politicians, former police officers, and rights groups have demanded a probe into the killing, saying the police version of what happened did not add up. Five people linked to Dubey were killed between July 3 and July 9.
“This is something which this court will do reluctantly. But since we have done it in the other case pertaining to Telangana, we will do something similar here,” said chief justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde as a three-judge bench he heads began hearing three petitions seeking a probe into Dubey’s killing. “Monitoring [of the probe] is something we cannot do as finally the appeal arising out of this case has to come to this court.”
The court posted the matter for hearing next on Monday when the Uttar Pradesh government has to file its response.
The Supreme Court in December constituted a three-member commission to investigate the killing of four men days after they were arrested for allegedly raping and murdering a 26-year-old veterinary doctor near Hyderabad. The former Supreme Court judge VS Sirpurkar-led panel was constituted after two lawyers moved the court seeking an independent probe into the Hyderabad killings.
The Telangana police have insisted the four accused were killed in an exchange of fire on December 6 after they allegedly snatched their weapons when they were taken to the crime scene. The killings triggered a fierce debate and raised concerns about the violation of the due process.
The three-member Supreme Court bench drew parallels between the two cases. It asked the petitioners to suggest the composition of the judicial inquiry committee to probe the murders of Dubey and his accomplices.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who represented the Uttar Pradesh government, said the state has addressed all concerns of the petitioners. “We have taken up the matter seriously. Let me first place before the court what has been done and then the court can take a decision.” The court allowed Mehta to file his response by Thursday.
Ghanshyam Upadhyay, a lawyer and one of the petitioners, had filed a petition before Dubey was killed fearing he will be eliminated like his accomplices. Anoop Prakash Awasthi, another petitioner, has sought a probe into the alleged police-politician-gangster nexus behind Dubey and his gang members killings. He has alleged the state police consider themselves to be above the law and hence “their excesses” in this case should be subject to a court-monitored probe either by central agencies or a panel headed by a retired judge.