Hyderabad vet rape-murder case: Panel probing police encounter of rape, murder accused get 6 months extension
The apex court had set up a three-member inquiry panel in December 2019 to look into the matter and file its report in six months.
The Supreme Court Tuesday granted six more months to the Inquiry Commission to submit its report on the police encounter killings of all four accused in the case of Hyderabad veterinarian’s murder and rape, which sparked protests across the country in 2019.
The four were shot dead in December of that year, reportedly as they tried to escape from custody after being taken to the scene of the crime for forensic reconstructions.
The apex court had set up a three-member inquiry panel in December 2019 to look into the matter and file its report in six months. However, the panel had requested for additional six months in July 2020 and then again in January, this year, citing unavoidable reasons due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana asked the lawyer appearing for the inquiry panel as to how much more time it wanted to conclude the probe.
“Why is this matter going on and on? This can be done in 3-4 months,” the bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana asked on Tuesday while hearing Advocate K Parameshwar, appearing for the petitioner. The bench also referred to a similar panel, set up to inquire into the encounter killing of a gangster Vikas Dubey in Uttar Pradesh, and said that they had already filed the report.
"Is it necessary to question 130 witnesses?" an unconvinced Chief Justice responded.
The bench, also comprising justice Justice Surya Kant, referred to the instance of a similar panel, set up to inquire into the encounter killing of a gangster Vikas Dubey in Uttar Pradesh, and said that they had already filed the report.
"Ok. Six months," the bench added.
The Sirpurkar panel was set up on December 12, 2019, to inquire into the circumstances leading to the encounter and was to submit a report in six months.
According to the police, the four were taken to the Chattapally — where the incident took place on November 27 — to recreate the crime scene during which they allegedly tried to escape after attacking the police team. In self-defence, the police shot them dead, an official was quoted by The Indian Express.
Then came a shocking twist to a crime that horrified the nation and triggered massive protests - the police claimed the accused started attacking them with sticks and stones, and that some even managed to snatch their weapons and open fire, triggering a gunfight that ended with their deaths.
The deaths of the four accused were met with mixed reactions; several people praised the police for their reactions, including badminton ace Saina Nehwal and late actor Rishi Kapoor.
Others, however, lamented "encounter" killings.
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