On July 30, 2020, a plea in Vikas Dubey Encounter Case has been preferred by Advocate Ghanshyam Upadhyay in the Apex Court seeking directions and issuance of contempt proceedings against state functionaries for allegedly suppressing true facts about the members of the commission in a way to scrap the inquiry commission constituted by the Supreme Court.
A fresh application alleging “fraud of high magnitude” practiced upon the Court to all stakeholders responsible for appointing Justice BS Chauhan, Shri Shashikant Aggarwal, Shri KL Gupta and Shri Ravindar Gaur on the judicial commission has been filed.
The plea was filed for seeking re-constitution of the inquiry commission set up to probe into the killing of gangster Vikas Dubey in police encounter by removing former apex court judge Justice BS Chauhan as the Chairman along with two other members.
Recent facts have come to Upadhyay which cast aspersions on the independence of the members so appointed and he tried to bring those to notice.
He alleged close connections of Justice BS Chauhan with the ruling BJP Government based on an article published in ‘The Wire’ titled ‘Family Ties of Former DGP, SC Judge Cast Conflict of Interest Shadow on Vikas Dubey Probe’
Upadhyay’s plea stated, “…two immediate/close relatives of Justice (Retd.) B.S.Chauhan viz. his brother and ‘samadhi’ being legislators with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which runs the government in Uttar Pradesh.”
The petition puts forth that Shri KL Gupta is related to the IG of Kanpur Zone, Shri Mohit Agarwal, where the alleged encounter of Vikas Dubey took place. “Shri K.L. Gupta is related with IG, Kanpur Zone, Shri Mohit Agarwal, where the alleged encounter of Vikas Dubey took place and who is alleged to be involved in fake encounters and thus, is bound to come under the scanner of inquiry/probe”
The plea also pondered into the issue of discerning what constitutes bias by stating that the “likelihood of bias” but be paid heed to.
“Appointments of aforesaid persons/members in Judicial Commission/SIT, are against the basic tenets of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India and principle of natural justice, which is implicit in Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India and thus, ultimately, violation of fundamental rights of the people of the country to have fair and impartial investigation/trial”
Earlier Upadhyay had filed an application seeking removal of K L Gupta from the Commission alleging that he had issued press statements supporting the police version of the encounter and was therefore biased.
A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde had on 28 July dismissed an earlier application seeking removal of two other members of the inquiry commission and had said that it would not allow the petitioner to cast aspersions.
Besides this, the plea has also sought re-constitution of the special investigating team (SIT), set up by the Uttar Pradesh government to look into the crimes committed by the gangster and alleged collusion between Dubey, police, and politicians.
The inquiry commission will also probe the killing of eight policemen allegedly by the Dubey gang and the subsequent encounter of the gangster and five of his purported associates.
On July 22, 2020, acting on a writ petition filed by Upadhyay, the SC constituted the committee and appointed former SC judge Justice B S Chauhan as the head.
Eight policemen, including DSP Devendra Mishra, who were ambushed in Bikru village in Chaubeypur area of Kanpur when they were going to arrest Dubey and fell to bullets fired from rooftops shortly after midnight on 3 July.
The Uttar Pradesh government, in an affidavit filed earlier in the apex court in the matter, had said that the police party escorting Dubey from Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh
to Kanpur had to "fire back in self-defense" as he had tried to escape and was killed.