The Supreme Court Wednesday dismissed a plea questioning the setting up of a three-member judicial commission, headed by former apex court judge Justice B S Chauhan, to inquire into the encounter killing of gangster Vikas Dubey.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said that there were enough safeguards to ensure fair inquiry by the judicial panel into the encounter which took place in Kanpur.
The verdict came on a plea field by advocate Ghanshyam Upadhaya seeking re-constitution of the inquiry commission and substituting its members — Justice (retd) B S Chauhan, former Supreme Court judge, Justice (retd) Shashi Kant Agarwal and retired Uttar Pradesh DGP K L Gupta — with other former judges of the apex court and retired DGPs.
He had alleged that brother of Justice Chauhan is a legislator in Uttar Pradesh and his daughter is married to a Member of Parliament.
On August 11, the bench also comprising justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, had said that it would not allow anyone to cast aspersions on the basis of media reports on the retired apex court judge heading the panel.
It had pulled up the petitioner and asked him whether a relative of a judge belonging to a political party, be termed as an illegal act.
It had said that there are several judges who have Members of Parliament as their relatives.
“There are judges whose father or brother or relatives are MPs. Are you (petitioner) saying that they all are biased judges? If any relative is belonging to a political party, is this an illegal act?” the top court had told Upadhaya.
The top court had earlier dismissed an application seeking removal of two other members of the inquiry commission saying that it would not allow the petitioner to cast aspersions.
The apex court had on July 22 approved the Uttar Pradesh government’s draft notification for appointing Justice (retd) Chauhan as the chairman of the three-member inquiry commission.
Eight policemen, including DSP Devendra Mishra, who were ambushed in Bikru village in Chaubeypur area of Kanpur when they were going to arrest Dubey and fell to bullets fired from rooftops shortly after midnight on July 3.
Dubey was killed in an encounter in the morning of July 10 when a police vehicle carrying him from Ujjain to Kanpur met with an accident and he tried to escape from the spot in Bhauti area, the police had said.
Prior to Dubey’s encounter, five of his alleged associates were killed in separate encounters.
The Uttar Pradesh government, in an affidavit filed earlier in the apex court in the matter, had said that the police party escorting Dubey from Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh to Kanpur had to “fire back in self-defence” as he had tried to escape and was killed.