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Why was Vikas Dubey on bail despite 63 cases against him, SC asks UP govt

The Supreme Court has asked the Uttar Pradesh government to submit all orders that allowed Vikas Dubey to be released on bail.

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday said it was “appalled” that gangster Vikas Dubey was out on bail despite 63 cases pending against him.

“This shows the failure of the system,” a bench led by Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde noted.

The court said this while hearing petitions demanding an independent inquiry into Dubey’s killing on 10 July.

It asked the Uttar Pradesh government to submit all orders that allowed Dubey to be released on bail. “This is a failure of the institution. He was on bail and he did this. We need a report on such bail orders,” the court told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who represented the state.

“Strengthen the rule of law and police force won’t ever be demoralised,” the CJI told senior counsel Harish Salve, who on behalf of UP DGP Hitesh Chandra Awasthy, had argued that Dubey, a hardcore criminal, slaughtered policemen in his village.

The UP Police have denied killing Dubey in a “fake encounter” on 10 July. A day earlier, Dubey had reportedly surrendered before the Madhya Pradesh Police in Ujjain. He is said to have run away from UP after killing eight policemen who were part of a team that had raided his residence on 2 July.

In an affidavit before the top court, the UP Police have maintained that Dubey was shot dead as a result of “cross-firing”. Dubey, said the police, had attempted to escape after the car in which he was taken to Kanpur overturned due to heavy rains in a village, situated 25 kilometers outside the city.

The UP government has already appointed a one-member commission, headed by former Allahabad High Court judge Justice Shashi Kant Agarwal, to probe these incidents, including an alleged botched raid at Dubey’s house.

The top court Monday suggested reconstitution of this committee by nominating a former Supreme Court judge as its head. Solicitor General Mehta offered to place before the CJI’s bench a draft notification to re-appoint the panel on 22 July, the next date of hearing, so that appropriate orders can be issued for the commission to start its work.


Also read: With arrest of aide Guddan Trivedi, UP cops piece together Vikas Dubey’s 7-day run


‘Rule of law requires arrests, trial and sentencing’

The bench accepted UP Police’s submission that Dubey’s encounter bore no similarities with the Telangana killings where the state police had shot down four men accused of rape-cum-murder of a veterinarian.

In February this year, the top court had ordered a judicial probe into the Telangana encounters and appointed former Supreme Court judge Justice V.S. Sirpurkar to head it.

However, this panel has not been able to proceed with the enquiry due to the pandemic as Justice Sirpurkar is a resident of Nagpur and is unable to travel.

“In the Hyderabad case, the rapists did not have any arms. But you as a state government (UP) are responsible to maintain rule of law. It requires arrests, trial and sentencing,” the bench told Mehta, when he asserted that investigation into the incidents leading to Dubey’s encounter is going on.

The solicitor attempted to elaborate on Dubey’s background as a criminal and his capability to shoot at the police days before he was killed, but the bench cut him short to say, “You do not have to tell us who Vikas Dubey was. There are more than 50 cases against him, we know.”

At this, Mehta said he was trying to satisfy the conscience of the court.

‘This case does not merit judicial intervention’

Senior counsel Salve opposed the court’s idea of having a committee led by a retired Supreme Court judge and comprising a former police official.

“This was a case where a man was being arrested and who had already slaughtered policemen. Such an enquiry would demoralise the forces,” Salve said.

However, the CJI responded by saying, “By this enquiry, rule of law will only strengthen and not demoralise the forces. The bench refused to look into the larger question to lay down guidelines for encounters. It even declined to issue orders on a request made by one of the petitioners – NGO Public Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) – to appoint a sitting Supreme Court judge as the head of the probe panel.

“How dare you say that retired high court and supreme court judges are not independent,” the CJI said, admonishing another petitioner who had argued against including judges in the panel.

The bench further asked Mehta to look into contents of the statements made by UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and some cabinet ministers favouring the encounter killings, after PUCL claimed that an independent enquiry was crucial in the wake of such statements.


Also read: Seeing Vikas Dubey as ‘Robin Hood of Brahmins’ distorts true picture of caste, crime, politics


 

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Reminds me of MAD magazine’s Answers to Stoopid Questions.
    Q: Judge – Who gave bail to Vikas Dubey?
    A: His wife and children, your honor.
    (May the good Lord protect us from ever appearing in front of such judiciary)

  2. SC should be reminded that shahi imam of jama masjid has more cases and non bailable warrant yet he is roaming free.

  3. A gentle reminder. It is the judiciary after all which grants bail and not the UP Govt.

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