The Supreme Court on Friday extended by six more months the time granted to the commission constituted to inquire into the encounter of four men accused of raping and killing a veterinary surgeon in Hyderabad on December 6.
The apex court had set up a three-member commission, headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice V S Sirpurkar on December 12, following a petition which contended that the encounter was a fake one. The SC had originally given the Commission — also comprising former Bombay High Court judge Justice Rekha S Baldota and ex-CBI director D R Karthikeyan — six months from the date on which it started the inquiry to submit its report.
However, the work of the commission could not proceed due to the Covid-19 situation and it approached the top court, seeking more time to complete its investigation and submit a report.
On Friday, the application came up before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, which allowed the six months’ extension.
A lawyer who is also a petitioner in the matter told the apex court that such incidents of custodial deaths were also happening in states like Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh and sought orders to curb this.
The CJI asked him, “How can any court in the world grant relief like this and say there should be no crime?”
“As a lawyer you have a greater responsibility. Tell us, how can we ensure that there will be no deaths in custody? Somebody may die of natural causes…,” the CJI added.
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