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Two letter-petitions addressed to the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court question the manner in which Uttar Pradesh gangster Vikas Dubey was killed in an alleged encounter on Friday morning.
Two letter-petition addressed to the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court questions the manner in which Uttar Pradesh gangster Vikas Dubey was killed in an alleged "police-encounter."
The first letter, written by Supreme Court Advocate Pawan Prakash Pathak and law student Abhijeet Kumar Pandey, seeks an enquiry by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) or the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the killing.
Their plea poses the following queries:
Whether the “rule of law” excuses a killing in an "encounter"?
Whether a police encounter is an exception to the principle of an accused being innocent until proved otherwise? and
Whether a police encounter is an exception to the right to life and due procedure?
Quoting Article 21 of the Indian Constitution (preventing the deprivation of life and liberty save by established legal procedure), the petitioners explain that the State is responsible for trying an accused person according to criminal laws before depriving him, “of his life.”
While admitting the existence of “dreaded criminals” in society, the petitioners aver, however, that “encounters” can never be an option in acting against persons accused of a crime.
They bolster their submissions with the Supreme Court’s pronouncement in Prakash Kadam v Ramprasad Vishwanath Gupta, wherein it was held that "Trigger happy policemen who think they can kill people in the name of ‘encounter’ and get away with it should know that the gallows await them.”
Referring to other instances of police brutality, including the recent Sathankulam custodial deaths, the petitioners declare that by their petition they seek to advocate the “Rule of law in State.”
The letter ends with a prayer seeking a CBI or SIT inquiry into Dubey’s crimes as well as the alleged “encounter” that killed him.
Another plea has been moved by Advocates Bhavya Sahai and Devesh Saxena, two lawyers practising in the Allahabad High Court, seeking a judicial probe into Dubey's death.
Describing the police's version of his death as "fictional and rather plagiarised from some Bollywood Movie script", they seek a Judicial Probe of the gangster's death supervised by a sitting Judge of the Allahabad Court.
Vikas Dubey, accused of brutally killing eight policemen last week, was killed on Friday morning after he allegedly attempted to escape following a motor accident. He was being transported to Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh at the time of the accident.
The police claim that he was killed "in self-defence" after he tried to grab a gun from a police officer injured in the motor accident and reportedly fired at them.
Hours before his death, a plea was filed in the Supreme Court seeking his protection from a possible "encounter killing."