New Delhi, The Supreme Court on Wednesday approved the appointment of a three-member inquiry commission, headed by former apex court judge Justice B.S. Chauhan, to probe the encounter death of gangster Vikas Dubey, and asked it to submit its report to the court and the Uttar Pradesh government within two months.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde also told the Uttar Pradesh Police not to resort to further encounters to eliminate dreaded gangsters in the state, after Ghanshyam Upadhyay, who moved the apex court for an independent inquiry into the encounter, sought that UP government should not resort to encounter of other criminals in the state, who also have many cases like Dubey.
"We direct that the notification constituting the Commission and incorporating the Terms of Reference as approved by us, shall be issued immediately. The Commission shall sit at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh and start functioning within a period of one week from today," said the bench also comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.
The bench noted that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) already constituted by the state government will be free to inquire into any of the related incidents which are the subject matters of this case.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the UP Police, informed the top court that the state government proposes Justice Chauhan's name to head the three-member inquiry commission into the encounter of Vikas Dubey and his associates.
The other two members of the commission are former judge of Allahabad High Court Justice Shashi Kant Agarwal and former Director General of Police K.L. Gupta.
The apex court noted that the secretarial assistance to the Justice Chauhan commission shall be provided by the Centre and not the state government. "It is made clear that the secretarial assistance for the Commission shall be provided by the Central Government, from such services/Departments as may be directed by the Chairman of the Commission,"said the top court.
The bench, however, declined to monitor the investigations into Dubey's encounter. "Just because it has received so much publicity, we cannot begin monitoring criminal investigations," said the Chief Justice.
With the commission to begin functioning within a week, the court also said: "Needless to mention that any party to the present petitions may apply to the Inquiry Commission for being heard. List the matter thereafter along with the Report of the Commission."