SC rejects plea to remove former UP DGP K L Gupta from Inquiry Panel to probe Vikas Dubey encounter

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a plea seeking to replace former Uttar Pradesh DGP K L Gupta from the Inquiry Commission constituted to probe into the encounter of gangster Vikas Dubey.
The plea, based on media reports, had alleged bias on the part of K L Gupta towards the police. Reportedly, after Dubey’s encounter, ex-DGP Gupta had said in a TV debate that it was not right to doubt the police.
A three-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) S A Bobde said it was satisfied that the objection arose because of an incomplete reading and understanding of K.L. Gupta’s statement, made to the Media.
The bench noted-
“It is very clear that Mr. Gupta has in the same interview stated “we should not be judgmental. This is not the end but a start”. Thereafter, Mr. Gupta also stated the following:
 “There is the NHRC (National Human Rights Commission). Magisterial probe of encounters are done, Magistrates are not under police. If there is something wrong, the magistrate can order an FIR. Policemen have gone to jail in the past in fake encounter cases’, the former DGP said”.
 The court, therefore, said it could not be assumed that Gupta had made mind one way or the other.
On July 24, the apex court had approved the name of its former judge, Justice B S Chauhan, to head the commission to inquire into the encounter killings of gagster Vikas Dubey and his five associates. A three-member independent commission also comprises former judge of the Allahabad High Court Justice Shashi Kant Agarwal and former Director-General of Police (DGP) K L Gupta.
Earlier, the UP Government had filed an affidavit in the apex court stating that Gangster Vikas Dubey had not surrendered as was being wrongly reported.
It added Vikas Dubey not only had a strong reason and motive to flee away from police custody as he attempted to do on July 10 but had the capacity, potential, and experience of attacking the police personnel and killing them which in fact happened on July 10 when Vikas Dubey tried to escape and fired at the police party when prevented.
“Accused had fired 9 rounds at the STF team. He was facing the police while firing. STF team fired 06 rounds when he did not surrender even after warning and continued to fire on the police team. Only three bullet shots hit the accused. It was a close and face to face exchange of fire furtherance of self-defense by police”, the affidavit of the UP Government said.
Pursuant to the killing of eight police personnel allegedly by gagster Vikash Dubey and his associates, the state government had constituted several investigative teams of the Special Investigation Team (SIT), Crime-Branch Crime Investigation Department (CBCID), Special Task Force (STF) as well as police teams of the State of U.P. in order to probe the alleged incident.
On July 9, Madhya Pradesh Police had arrested the main accused Vikas Dubey in Ujjain. He was later handed over to the UP police. On July 10, the UP police killed Vikas Dubey in the encounter after he allegedly tried to escape from the police custody.

The Leaflet