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Supreme Court to hear petitions on Vikas Dubey encounter on July 14

A three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde will on Tuesday (July 14) hear petitions questioning the encounter killings of history-sheeter Vikas Dubey and his associates by the Uttar Pradesh Police in response to the ambush and murder of eight police officers at Bikru village on July 3.

Also read | Vikas Dubey arrest ‘staged’: Opposition, kin of slain Circle Officer

The first petition by a Maharashtra-based lawyer, advocate Ghanshyam Upadhyay, was filed hours before Dubey was shot dead on July 10. The police version is that he tried to escape custody after a vehicle in the convoy bringing him to Kanpur, met with an accident.

The petition had presciently said there was “every possibility of U.P. police resorting to kill Vikas Dubey in fake encounter during his transit”. A letter from Mr. Upadhyay to the Supreme Court on Saturday sought an urgent hearing, saying what was apprehended about Dubey’s fate had actually happened.

Mr. Upadhyay claimed the “U.P. Police and administration have no fear, faith and respect for law and judiciary and they have become law unto themselves and Police is taking the country towards ‘Talibanisation’ which cannot be countenanced at any cost”.

‘Trigger-happy cops’

The second petition listed is one filed by Anoop Prakash Awasthi, which begins dramatically by asking “Shall we close our honourable courts, prosecution agencies and dismantle the system of administration of criminal justice as the trigger-happy cops in Uttar Pradesh do not need them and believe only upon their fire power when taking any adversary or outlaw in their custody?”

Mr. Awasthi has asked the apex court to appoint a central agency like the NIA or the CBI to probe the “police-criminal-politician nexus” involved in the deaths of the eight police officers and the encounter killings of Dubey and his henchmen.

A separate plea has also been filed by the NGO, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), saying the police version of the encounter killing of the gangster “raises many serious questions”.

On other encounters

The NGO had previously moved the apex court for an SIT or CBI probe into the U.P. police encounters between January 2017 and March 2018.

“The incidents, which have been revealed in the killing of Vikas Dubey and his associates, are very shocking in particular keeping in view continuous cases of mass encounters in the State of U.P. which have taken place from January 1, 2017, onwards,” the PUCL petition said.

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