Direct police to register cases against personnel named in Disha encounter case: lawyer in HC

The site of the alleged fake police encounter, at Chatanpally on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

The site of the alleged fake police encounter, at Chatanpally on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
| Photo Credit: File photo

Telangana police had not issued an FIR against the police personnel involved in an exchange of fire with the accused in the Disha gangrape and murder case, despite observations made by the Supreme Court-appointed Commission of Inquiry in its report, said advocate Vrinda Grover on Monday.

Appearing before the Telangana High Court during the hearing of a batch of PIL petitions related to the ‘Disha encounter’ case, the lawyer practicing at Supreme Court said the Telangana police should have initiated criminal proceedings against the policemen involved in the death of the four accused as per the report of the judicial commission headed by Justice V.S. Sirpurkar. A bench of Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice C.V. Bhaskar Reddy began hearing arguments in the batch of the PIL pleas on Monday following the apex court’s direction dated May 20, 2022.

The young veterinarian was abducted, gang-raped and murdered between Shadnagar and Shamshabad on the outskirts of Hyderabad on November 28, 2019. The four accused — Mohammed Arif, Ch. Chennakeshavulu, J. Shiva and J. Naveen — were arrested by Cyberabad police eventually and remanded in judicial custody. Later, all four were killed during an exchange of fire with the police when the latter took them to the crime scene for reconstruction of the sequence of events.

The Supreme Court, after hearing a petition, constituted a judicial panel headed by Justice V.S. Sirpukar to investigate into the alleged fake encounter. The Commission presented its report on January 28, 2022. Advocate Vrinda Grover, presenting her contentions before the bench headed by Chief Justice Bhuyan, said it was imperative that the bench instruct Telangana police to register an FIR against police personnel named by the Commission.

The lawyer pointed out that while the police issued FIR against the four persons accused of a role in the rape and murder of the veterinarian, they did not do so even as the Commission of Inquiry appointed by the apex court found fault with the police personnel. Citing the apex court verdict in the case of Manipur extra-judicial killings, the lawyer contended that the SC ruled that cases should be registered against the persons based on the recommendations made by the Commission of Inquiry.

The matters were posted to January 2, 2023, for the next hearing.

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