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SC panel recommends murder charges for cops who ‘encountered’ 4 gangrape accused in Hyderabad

The top court committee was tasked to probe the circumstances that led to the deaths of the men accused in the 2019 gangrape and murder of 27-year-old veterinarian.

The Supreme Court of India | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
The Supreme Court of India | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint

New Delhi: A Supreme Court appointed committee has recommended that 10 police officers be tried for murder in the alleged encounter of four gangrape accused in Hyderabad in 2019.

The committee said that the police’s version – the accused had snatched pistols and were trying to escape – was unbelievable and not backed by evidence.

The case pertains to the gangrape and murder of a veterinarian, 27, in November, 2019. The police said the woman had been kidnapped, sexually assaulted and later killed by the four — Mohammed Arif, Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu, Jolu Shiva, and Jollu Naveen.

The accused had burnt the body of the woman, the police said, leaving it on National Highway 44 near Hyderabad.

The four accused were shot dead on the same highway after being arrested in the case.

A three-member panel, headed by former apex court judge V.S. Sirpurkar, was set up on 12 December, 2019 to probe the encounter.

The commission report said Friday that the officers were “responsible for the safekeeping of the deceased subjects”. “If either by acts or omissions they failed to fulfil their responsibility, then their common intention to cause the deaths of the deceased subjects is established,” it read

The report added: “In our considered opinion, the accused were deliberately fired upon with an intent to cause their death and with the knowledge that the firing would invariably result in the death of the deceased suspect.”

The Supreme Court on Friday also transferred this matter to the Telangana High Court for further action.

A bench comprising Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli did not agree to the submissions of senior advocate Shyam Divan that the report be kept in a sealed cover.

“This relates to the encounter case. There is nothing to keep here. The Commission has found someone guilty. We want to send the matter to the high court,” the bench said.


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