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Vikas Dubey encounter: SC asks UP govt to reconstitute probe committee, says appalled that he was earlier granted bail

Senior advocate Harish Salve who appeared on behalf of the Uttar Pradesh Police argued that Dubey was not an ordinary person but a hardened criminal who was arrested for 'slaughtering policemen.' He stated, "This is not a case that merits a judicial intervention or a committee with judicial officers. Such an inquiry would also demoralise the police force."

On Monday, a 3-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court, headed by CJI SA Bobde noted that the Uttar Pradesh government has the responsibility to uphold law and order situation in the State. The apex court made the observation while hearing a plea in connection to the encounter of gangster Vikas Dubey. 

The petition was filed by two lawyers namely Ghanashyam Upadhayay and Anoop Prakash Awasthi. In their petition, the duo sought for a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the encounter of the slain gangster. While senior advocate Harish Salve appeared for Uttar Pradesh police, the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared for the State of Uttar Pradesh.

The Chief Justice of India noted the difference between the encounter of Dubey and the encounter of four unarmed rapists in the sensational Hyderabad case. He emphasised, “But you as a state government you are responsible to maintain rule of law. It requires arrests, trial, and sentencing.” CJI Bobde observed that the government has constituted a committee under the supervision of a High Court judge and asked whether the government can add a retired Supreme Court judge and an ex-police officer to the probe committee. The suggestion was readily accepted by Tushar Mehta. He emphasised that the Bench cannot appoint a sitting SC judge to look into the committee.

Senior advocate Harish Salve who appeared on behalf of the Uttar Pradesh Police argued that Dubey was not an ordinary person but a hardened criminal who was arrested for ‘slaughtering policemen.’ He stated, “This is not a case that merits a judicial intervention or a committee with judicial officers. Such an inquiry would also demoralise the police force.” The CJI, however, rebutted the argument by emphasising that an inquiry will strengthen the rule of law and not demoralise the police force.

Besides, the CJI also directed petitioner Upadhyay to present his case before the probe committee and rejected the constitution of a SIT. Moreover, he sought for a report on all bail orders after learning that the gangster was earlier released on bail. “This is a failure of an institution where he was released on bail and did this. We need a report on such bail orders,” CJI SA Bobde remarked.

Encounter of Vikas Dubey

On the night of 2nd and 3rd July, three-teams of UP the police had gone to the Bikaru village to arrest Vikas Dubey. He had got a tip-off about the raid and planned an ambush on the police teams. He and his gang members killed eight policemen and injured several. CO Devendra Mishra, who was leading the operation, was among the eight officers who died in the attack. Dubey was arrested in Ujjain a few days later. The police vehicle in which he was being brought back to Kanpur had met with an accident on the way. Vikas had tried to escape and fired a few shots at the policemen while escaping. Police retaliated and shot him dead in an encounter. 5 of Vikas’ accomplices were also killed in separate encounters.

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