The Supreme Court has stipulated the terms of reference of the Inquiry Commission that was constituted to investigate into the extrajudicial killings of four men accused of gang-rape and murder of a veterinarian in an alleged encounter with Hyderabad police on December 6.
In its order dated January 10, the Supreme Court specified:
"(1) To inquire into the alleged incident resulting in the death of four persons on 6th December, 2019 in Hyderabad, namely, Mohammed Arif, Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu, Jolu Shiva and Jollu Naveen, who were arrested in connection with the rape and murder of a young veterinary lady doctor, while they were in the custody of police.
(2) To inquire into the circumstances that led to the death of afore-mentioned four persons and to ascertain as to whether any offence appears to have been committed in the course. If yes, to fix the responsibility of erring officials.
(3) The Chairman of the aforesaid Inquiry Commission will be paid Rs.1,50,000/- (Rupees One Lakh and Fifty Thousand only) per sitting and the Members of the Commission will be paid Rs.1,00,000/- (Rupees One Lakh only) per sitting. The other directions regarding facilities to be provided to the Chairman and the Members of the Inquiry Commission will be in terms of this Court's order dated 12.12.2019."
The inquiry was ordered by a bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde in the PIL filed by Advocate GS Mani and Pradeep Kumar Yadav, who sought registration of an FIR and subsequent action against the police personnel who were involved in an alleged encounter.
The court had directed that the probe will be concluded within 6 months, under the Chairmanship of former Supreme Court judge Justice V S Sirpurkar. Ex Bombay HC judge Justice Rekha Baldota and former CBI Director Karthikeyan will be other members of the enquiry panel.
In its previous order dated December 12, the Supreme Court had said that no other court or authority will conduct enquiry into the encounter killings till then. This means that the proceedings in the Telangana High Court and the suo moto enquiry by National Human Rights Commission on the issue are effectively stayed.
In its January 10 order, the court has also issued notices to Press Trust of India and the Press Council of India, after Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi suggested at the hearing that the Media be restrained from giving publicity to the proceedings before the Commission of Inquiry and from making comments on the Inquiry or in relation to the Inquiry. The matter will be taken up after two weeks.
Click Here To Download Order Dated January 10