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Crime, Police And Law

Hyderabad encounter: Enquiry Commission files application before SC seeking extension of time amid lockdown [READ APPLICATION]

By Prachi Misra      25 July, 2020 12:38 PM      0 Comments
Hyderabad encounter Enquiry Commission files application

An application has been filed by the Enquiry Commission before the SC seeking an extension of six months for submission of final report in the matter pertaining to the investigation of the alleged encounter of four accused persons on 6th December 2019 in Hyderabad. 

The application filed by Advocate K. Parmeshwar submits that circumstances raised due to COVID-19 have hindered the sittings of the Enquiry Commission as the three members of the commission reside in different cities and the place of Enquiry is in a wholly different city as well.

The application states that Enquiry Commission was not halted due to the pandemic and collection of records and documents as well as statements of persons acquainted with the incident went on despite the current situation.

On 12th December 2019 the SC had directed for constitution of an Enquiry Commission to investigate the encounter of four accused persons in Hyderabad on 6th December, 2019. The four accused were in custody of police in connection with rape and murder of veterinary doctor.

The commission is being headed by former SC Judge, Justice VS Sirpurkar, and comprises of former Judge of the Bombay High Court, Justice RP Sondurbaldota and former Director of Central Bureau of Investigation, DR Kaarthikeyan. A period of six month has been given for completion of the Enquiry since date of its first sitting.

The Telangana HC had given permission for accommodation of the Enquiry Commission and also sanctioned for creation of 19 new posts to aid the functioning of the commission.

The terms of reference of the Enquiry Commission were thereafter framed by the SC on 10th January, 2020 and directed for an Enquiry into the circumstances that led to the death of the aforementioned four persons and to ascertain as to whether any offence appears to have been committed in the course. If yes, to fix the responsibility of erring officials.

The first sitting of the Enquiry Commission was held on 3rd February 2020 and a public notice was furnished to come forward and furnish information to the commission. 

The application stated that, 1365 affidavits were filed in Telegu which needs to be translated in English. It was further submitted that relevant records from the NHRC investigation team, SIT Investigation team have been collected as well as post-mortem reports.

The application submits that due to the nationwide lockdown the work by Enquiry Commission was halted. And the possibility of conducting online hearings had difficulties such as that of confidentiality.

Moreover, the Enquiry requires physical inspection of the scene of incident and other related locations, which is also not possible in a virtual hearing. Conducting Enquiry, without physical hearings, spot inspections and so on, do not appear feasible.

The application prays for further extension of six months for submission of the report from the date the commission resumed. It further prays that directions to be given to Telangana government to enable continued functioning of the Enquiry Commission.

The matter was listed before the SC bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde on July 24, 2020.




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