The Commission has indicted 10 police officers for their role in the fake encounter killing of four accused in the rape and murder of a 26-year-old girl in 2019 and recommended they be tried for murder. The Telangana High Court will now monitor the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations.
THE Supreme Court, earlier today, turned down the request of the Telangana government to keep the inquiry report submitted by Justice V.S. Sirpurkar-led inquiry commission into the alleged encounter killing in December 2019 of four accused in the rape and murder of a woman at Chattanpally near Shadnagar in Hyderabad district, confidential. It directed the sharing of the report with the parties concerned and sent the matter back to the Telangana High Court for further examination.
A division bench of Chief Justice of India [CJI] N.V. Ramana and Justice Hima Kohli passed the order to this effect even as senior advocate Shyam Divan, for the state government, urged the court to keep the report in a sealed cover. However, the submission did not find favour with the CJI, who retorted saying there was nothing confidential in it.
Advocate Vrinda Grover, appearing for one K. Sajaya, who is a journalist and a documentary filmmaker with wide experience in reporting the struggles of women, Dalits and other marginalized groups, opposed the request to keep the report in a sealed cover. She submitted that all the hearings were conducted in public, and depositions were also taken in public. She also drew the attention of the court to the fact that the report of the Manipur encounter killings was shared with the parties concerned. Grover had also filed detailed written submissions before the commission arguing that the killing of the four boys was cold-blooded murder.
Soon after the court’s order, the commission’s report was made public. The Commission, in its report, has found that the accused were deliberately fired upon with an intent to cause their death and with the knowledge that the firing would invariably result in the death of the deceased suspect. It thus recommended that all the ten police officers should be tried for the offence of murder. Of the four deceased persons, three were minors. Besides, it has flagged flagrant violation of the National Human Rights Commission guidelines on arrests of the deceased accused.
On December 12, 2019, the Supreme Court had set up the inquiry panel after hearing a petition filed by advocate G.S. Mani seeking an independent investigation into the alleged fake encounter killing of four men accused of raping and murdering a 26-year-old veterinarian in Hyderabad last November. The inquiry panel was headed by Justice Sirpurkar, former judge of the Supreme Court, and comprised former judge of the Bombay High Court, Justice Rekha Baldota and former Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation, D.R. Karthikeyan.