The Supreme Court indicated on Wednesday that it is likely to appoint a retired top court judge to probe the encounter of four accused in Hyderabad’s veterinary doctor’s gangrape and murder case. The Supreme Court said that it was aware about the Telangana High Court’s decision. “We propose to appoint former Supreme Court judge to inquire into the matter who will sit in Delhi and inquire into the incident,” Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said. It clarified that the former apex court judge, who would enquire into the incident, would sit in Delhi.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi and advocate Krishnakumar Singh, appearing for the Telangana government, said it had followed the directions laid down by the apex court for an enquiry into encounters and had already referred the case to the state CID.
Amid growing concerns over the Hyderabad encounter in which the four accused were killed by the police in an ‘act of self-defence’, Chief Justice of Indian Sharad Arvind Bobde has spoken against justice becoming revenge. Addressing an event during the inauguration of the new building of Rajasthan High Court in Jodhpur, CJI Bobde said that, “I believe justice loses its character as justice if it becomes revenge.” The comment gains significance as several people had pointed out at poor judicial records in terms of the rape cases in India. “I don’t think justice can ever be and ought to be instant," he further said.
A latest Reuters report had pointed out to poor conviction rates in rape cases in India. More than 32,500 cases of rape were registered with the police in 2017, about 90 a day, according to the most recent government data. Indian courts disposed of only about 18,300 cases related to rape that year, leaving more than 127,800 cases pending at the end of 2017.
Meanwhile, a seven-member NHRC committee began its inquiry into the alleged police encounter in which all four accused in the rape and murder of a young veterinarian rape and murder were killed, visiting the mortuary at a state-run hospital in Mahabubnagar district, where their bodies have been kept after post-mortem.
The team, including a forensic medicine expert, examined the bodies and also visited Chattanpalli village, about 50 kms from Hyderabad, the spot where the charred remains of the woman were found beneath a culvert on November 28, and also the encounter site nearby.
(With agency inputs)