The Uttar Pradesh government has agreed before the Supreme Court to rework a committee to investigate the death of Vikas Dubey, the Uttar Pradesh gangster who was shot dead earlier this month as he tried to escape police custody following a car accident. The top court had asked the state government to consider adding a former Supreme Court judge and a retired police officer in the probe committee, saying it was "appalled" that the gangster was out on bail.
"We are appalled at the fact that such a person was released on bail. This is a failure of an institution where he was released on bail and did this. We need a report on such bail orders," Chief Justice of India SA Bobde told the UP government, while hearing petitions for a Central Bureau of Investigation or the National Investigation Agency probe into his death and that of the killing of eight police by Vikas Dubey's gang members, and for the top court to monitor the probe. The top court has sought a report from the UP government.
The reconstituted panel will now include a retired Supreme Court judge and retired police officer, along with the existing retired high court judge, the UP government said.
"We cannot spare a sitting top court judge to become part of inquiry committee," the top court bench, headed by the Chief Justice, said during today's hearing.
Chief Justice Bobde also asked the UP government's lawyer to look into statements made by the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister. "If they have made certain statements and then something has followed, you should look into this," the Chief Justice said.
"This matter is qualitatively different from Telangana encounters. Even policemen have fundamental right. Can police be accused of excessive force when it is engaged in a live encounter with a dreaded criminal?" Harish Salve, representing the Director General of UP Police, told the Supreme Court. "This is a case where Dubey slaughtered cops," he said.
Vikas Dubey was shot dead while trying to escape after a car accident, the UP Police had announced on July 10, a day after his dramatic arrest in Madhya Pradesh. Vikas Dubey snatched the gun of a policeman and opened fire, the police said, asserting that they had tried to catch him alive.
On July 3, eight policemen were killed in a village Kanpur in an ambush set up after Vikas Dubey was tipped off by a local police inspector. Vikas Dubey escaped with many of his men after the massacre. A large team of policemen were on their way to arrest him in an attempted murder case.
The Supreme Court will take up the case next Wednesday after Uttar Pradesh submits the draft notification of the reconstituted probe panel.