Gangster Vikas Dubey
Gangster Vikas Dubey
Litigation News

Vikas Dubey Encounter Case: Supreme Court rejects plea seeking to disband Inquiry Commission headed by Justice (retd.) BS Chauhan

The petitioner had expressed apprehensions of bias citing political links of members of Justice Chauhan's family.

Shruti Mahajan

The Supreme Court today dismissed a plea filed by Advocate Ghanshyam Upadhyay seeking to disband the 3-member inquiry commission headed by Justice (retd.) BS Chauhan, which has been tasked to investigate the extrajudicial killing of gangster Vikas Dubey by the Uttar Pradesh Police.

The petitioner had expressed apprehensions of bias citing political links of members of Justice Chauhan's family.

The Bench of CJI SA Bobde with Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian today found no merit in this plea and dismissed the same observing that theere are "sufficient safeguards" with which the inquiry has to be conducted.

During the hearing in the case as well, the Court had remarked that bias cannot be assumed merely because Justice Chauhan's family members are political leaders associated with the party in power.

 BS Chauhan
BS Chauhan

The other members of the Commission are Justice (retd) Shashi Kant Agarwal and former Uttar Pradesh DGP KL Gupta.

The Supreme Court in this regards said,

"It must be remembered that we are dealing here with an Inquiry Commission constituted under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, whose functions and role are by now well defined."

The Court said that the allegations amde by the petitioner in this case are solely based on newspaper reports and therefore are eligibile to be rejected outright. Moreover, the findings of the committee will be put in public domain and petitioner granted liberty to even participate in the proceedings, Court highlighted.

"...there would be sufficient safeguard to the manner in which the inquiry would be held. We find that the petitioner has been raising unnecessary apprehensions and repeated applications are being filed which in fact is hampering the process of inquiry"

Therefore the Court found no merit in the allegations made by Upadhyay and dismissed the plea.

Upadhyay had earlier also sought the ouster of Gupta from the inquiry committee for allegedly making statements prejudicial to the inquiry. This plea too was dismissed by the Supreme Court.

This inquiry committee was set up by the State of Uttar Pradesh and approved by the Supreme Court to look into the alleged fake encounter in which gangster Vikas Dubey was killed earlier this year. The commission was directed to submit its report in two months time on July 22.

The order was passed on pleas seeking a probe into the extrajudicial killing of gangster Vikas Dubey.

The Supreme Court had earlier sought a draft notification from the State of Uttar Pradesh with a view to reconstituting the panel probing the killing of gangster Vikas Dubey.

The CJI-led Bench had asked that a retired Supreme Court judge and a former high ranking police official be included in the Commission, along with the retired High Court judge already proposed, so that the probe can be impartial and thorough.

Dubey was killed on the morning of July 10, while being taken back to Uttar Pradesh by the state police.

Hours before his killing, Mumbai-based lawyer Ghanshyam Upadhyay had filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking protection for the gangster, apprehending his killing in a "fake encounter". The encounter took place even before the plea could be listed before the Supreme Court.

Upadhyay, along with another petitioner Anoop Prakash Awasthi, sought an independent probe into the encounter killings of Dubey and his aides, who also died while in police custody.

Subsequently, an application seeking similar reliefs was filed by the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) in another pending matter which sought to question the encounters that had taken place in Uttar Pradesh from January 2017 to March 2018.

Read Jusgment:

Ghanshyam Upadhyay vs UOI - Judgment.pdf
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