The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed an application which sought the disbanding of the Justice (Retd) B S Chauhan inquiry Commission constituted to probe the alleged encounter of UP gangster, Vikas Dubey.
A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna & V. Subramaniun said :
"We have provided some safeguards in the manner in which the probe is to be conducted. The plea has no merit and is accordingly dismissed".
The top court had reserved order in the plea was by Ghanshyam Upadhyay seeking directions to scrap the inquiry commission constituted by Supreme Court to probe into Vikas Dubey Encounter Case and issue contempt proceedings against state functionaries for allegedly suppressing true facts about the members of the commission.
The fresh application alleged "fraud of high magnitude" practised upon the Court by all stakeholders responsible for appointing Justice BS Chauhan, Shri Shashikant Aggarwal, Shri KL Gupta and Shri Ravindar Gaur on the judicial commission.
Upadhyay had stated that recent facts have come to light which cast aspersions on the independence of the members so appointed.
When the matter had come up for hearing, the bench headed by CJI SA Bobde pulled up the petitioner for filing such a plea casting aspersions on members of a Court appointed Commission, including a Judge, especially on the basis of a media report.
"We will not allow you to level charges against a Judge on the basis of a newspaper report. What are you saying! He has been a respected Supreme Court Judge, and the Chief Justice of a High Court. There was never a problem with his relatives. Why do you have a problem now?
…Are any of his relatives connected with the incident or with the Inquiry? Why can't he be fair? There are many Judges whose fathers or brothers are MPs. Are you saying that all of them are biased judges?", CJI SA Bobde had said.
As regards the appointment of Justice BS Chauhan, Retd. Justice of the Supreme Court, he alleged close connections of the judge with the ruling BJP Government based on an article published in 'The Wire' titled 'Family Ties of Former DGP, SC Judge Cast Conflict of Interest Shadow on Vikas Dubey Probe'.
"...two immediate/close relatives of Justice (Retd.) B.S.Chauhan viz. his brother and 'samadhi' being legislators with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which runs the government in Uttar Pradesh" - Upadhyay's plea stated.
As regards Shri KL Gupta, the petition avers that he is related with the IG of Kanpur Zone, Shri Mohit Agarwal, where the alleged encounter of Vikas Dubey took place. "Shri K.L. Gupta is related with IG, Kanpur Zone, Shri Mohit Agarwal, where the alleged encounter of Vikas Dubey took place and who is alleged to be involved in fake encounters and thus, is bound to come under the scanner of enquiry/probe".
Upadhyay had earlier filed an application seeking removal of K L Gupta from the Commission alleging that he had issued press statements supporting the police version of the encounter and was therefore biased. On July 28, the SC dismissed that plea, observing that after considering Gupta's statements in their entirety, no right minded person would think that he was biased.
It was on July 22 that the SC constituted the committee and appointed former SC judge Justice B S Chauhan to lead it, acting on a writ petition field by Upadhyay.
The names of the committee members were proposed by the Uttar Pradesh government. Justice Sashi Kant Agarwal, a former judge of the Allahabad High Court, is the third member of the commission, apart from Justice B S Chauhan and K L Gupta.
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