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SC to take up PILs seeking probe in Hyderabad ‘encounter’, hearing on Wednesday

Dec 09, 2019

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear two PILs seeking investigation into the encounter deaths of four men accused of raping and killing a veterinarian in Hyderabad. The hearing will take place on Wednesday.

One of the petitions, filed by Advocate G S Mani and Pradeep Kumar Yadav, termed it a fake encounter. The other petition, by Advocate M L Sharma, has sought the formation of a special investigation team comprising retired Supreme Court judges to investigate, with the help of CBI, the encounter.

The bench headed by Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde also said the court will also examine what the Telangana High Court has to say in the case. The High Court, taking cognizance of a plea seeking judicial intervention in the matter, is scheduled to hear the petition today. The High Court had ordered that the bodies of all four accused be preserved until today.

In the wee hours of Friday, the Telangana Police took all the four accused to Chattapally in an attempt to recreate the crime scene when they allegedly tried to escape after attacking the police. The bodies of the four accused were found within a radius of 50 m. The state government has also constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the “cause and circumstances” leading to the death of the four accused.

The veterinarian went missing from Shamshabad toll plaza, near Hyderabad, on November 27. The four accused raped and then burnt her to death, the police have said. Her charred body was recovered the following day. The accused were arrested on November 29 and the police were criticised for making the family members of the victim run around over jurisdiction.

After the killings, many in the country invoked the “delay” in the judicial system to justify the ‘encounter’. CJI Bobde, however, said that justice can never be instant and “loses its character if it becomes revenge”. “Recent events in the country have sparked off the old debate with new vigour. There is no doubt that the criminal justice system must reconsider its position, must reconsider its attitudes towards time, towards laxity and towards the eventual time, it takes to dispose of a criminal matter. But I don’t think justice can ever be or ought to be instant and justice must never, ever take the form of revenge,” he had said while speaking at the inauguration of the new Rajasthan High Court building in Jodhpur.

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