About two weeks after gangster Vikas Dubey was killed in an alleged encounter, the Supreme Court on Wednesday (July 22) granted its approval to the Uttar Pradesh government’s draft notification for the appointment of former apex court judge Justice (retd) BS Chauhan as chairman of a 3-member inquiry commission.
The panel will probe the killing of eight policemen in Bikru village in Chaubeypur area of Kanpur on July 03 and the subsequent encounter of Dubey and five of his associates. The other two members of the inquiry commission are former high court judge Justice (retd) Shashi Kant Agarwal and retired Director General of Police of Uttar Pradesh KL Gupta.
A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde directed that the inquiry commission should start functioning within a week and the probe be concluded within two months. “Letting Dubey out on bail is the most important factor to probe and it led to all these consequences,” NDTV quoted the Supreme Court as saying.
The top court directed the Centre to provide secretarial assistance to the panel and said that assistance should be provided either by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) or any other central agency. The bench said the inquiry commission would submit its report to the apex court as well the state government under the Commission of Inquiry Act.
The apex court said the scope of the investigation to be conducted by the inquiry commission should be wide enough, adding that the top court was not in favour of “tying the hands” of the commission and it will not be wise to have a term of reference for it.
Earlier, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Uttar Pradesh, informed the bench Justice (retd) Chauhan has given his consent to be a part of the inquiry commission. Mehta told the bench that the commission would also probe the circumstances under which Dubey, who was facing 65 FIRs, was released on bail.
On June 20, the apex court said it was a “failure of the institution” that a person like Dubey got bail despite several cases lodged against him. It had asked the state government to consider having a former apex court judge and a retired police officer in the panel probing the encounter. It also told the state that it had to “uphold the rule of law”.
Meanwhile, the audio clip of an alleged conversation between Dubey and a policeman, presumed to be constable Rajeev Chaudhary, is doing the rounds on social media, reported Indian Express. The history-sheeter had apparently called the policeman prior to the incident and is heard telling the cop that “a false case was being lodged against him”.
(With inputs from agencies)