New Delhi: The Supreme Court rejected Friday a plea of the Telangana government by ordering the Justice VS Sirpurkar panel’s secretariat to share with parties the sealed cover report on the encounter killings of four accused in a case of gang-rape and murder of a veterinarian in Hyderabad and transferred it to the High Court for further action.
Meanwhile, in a significant development, the apex court-appointed three-member inquiry commission has come out with the stinging observations in its report against the Hyderabad police. The committee said the arrested accused were ‘deliberately fired upon by the police with an intent to cause their death’ and with the knowledge that the firing would result in their death.
‘NDTV’ quoting sources stated that in the report, it has been recommended that 10 cops involved in the shooting of the four accused should be booked for murder.
The four suspects – Mohammed Arif, Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu, Jolu Shiva, and Jollu Naveen – were arrested in connection with the gang-rape and murder of a veterinary lady doctor, November 29, 2019.
Later, the four accused were shot dead December 6, 2019, on NH-44 near Hyderabad – the same highway – where the charred body of a 27-year-old veterinarian was found. Police had claimed that the accused were trying to flee during the reconstruction of the crime scene.
A bench comprising Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli did not agree to the submissions of senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for Telengana, that the inquiry commission’s report be kept in a sealed cover.
“This relates to the encounter case. There is nothing to keep here. The Commission has found someone guilty. We want to send the matter to the Telengana High Court,” the bench said. “We have to send the case back to the high court, we cannot monitor this case. A detailed report is submitted. Question is what is the proper action to be taken? They have made some recommendations,” the Supreme Court bench said. “We direct the commission secretariat to provide a copy of the report to both parties,” the bench added.
Earlier, the SC bench had refused to share with lawyers the sealed cover report for the time being of the Commission. It, however, had directed its registry to provide a copy of the report submitted by the Justice Sirpurkar inquiry panel to the judges on the bench.
“Let us go through the report first,” the CJI had said while expressing reservation to share the sealed cover report for the time being with the lawyers concerned.
Prior to this, the top court, August 3, last year, had granted the extension of six months to the Commission, headed by former apex court judge VS Sirpurkar, to file the final report on the encounter killing of the four accused in the case of gang-rape and murder of the veterinarian.
The Sirpurkar panel was set up December 12, 2019, to inquire into the circumstances leading to the encounter and was to submit the report in six months.
The other members of the Commission include former Bombay High Court judge Rekha Sondur Baldota and ex-CBI director D R Karthikeyan.