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Disha case: Cops involved in the 'encounter killing' may be prosecuted

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Disha case: Cops involved in the encounter killing may be prosecuted
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Telangana police officers at the site of an alleged encounter, where four accused in the rape and murder of a veterinary were shot dead, on the outskirts of Hyderabad on Dec 6, 2019. (PTI)

Hyderabad: There is a high possibility that the Supreme Court-appointed Disha commission may have proposed the prosecution of the police personnel involved in the encounter killing of the four accused in the rape and murder of a young veterinarian in Hyderabad on 2019, The News Minute reported.

The commission, which conducted the investigations and hearings had submitted its report before the Supreme Court of India on January 28, 2022.

According to The News Minute's report, advocate PV Krishnamachary, representing the families of the four accused also expressed confidence that the Commission's report will find fault with the police and will say that they have committed murder.

"During the hearing, there were several times the head of the Commission asked several questions. From the questioning and from the reactions of the Commission, it was evident that it wasn't convinced by the theory put forward by the police," added Krishnamachary.

The counsel had tried to convince the panel how a number of constitutional and statutory rights of the accused were violated by the police personnel. The commission has made due note of this and also the arguments by the parents of the deceased that the children were minors at the time of the incident.

As per reports, two headmasters from schools in which three of the accused had studied had informed the Commission that the school had a record of their dates of birth which proved that they were minors at the time of the incident.

The commission that was constituted on January 2020 has as its members -- Justice VS Sirpurkar, former Judge, Supreme Court, as Chairman, and Justice RP Sondur Baldota, former Judge, Bombay High Court and Dr DR Kaarthikeyan, former Director, Central Bureau of Investigation

The commission had held hearings for 47 days last year and examined 57 witnesses.

It had also collected various documentary evidence including investigation records, forensic reports, post-mortem reports, photographs and videos concerning the scene of the incident, etc.

The police officials involved in the incident, including the then Commissioner of Police, VC Sajjanar, and other interested parties participated in the hearings.

During the investigation, several lapses were found which put the police personnel involved in the encounter killing in a tough spot. The two very important points that were brought to the Commission's attention was that there is no written record to show that the police had informed the deceased suspects or their relatives the reason for their arrest.

As per reports, the deceased were also not given the right to meet an advocate during their questioning.

Besides these, several other irregularities in the medical examination, remand procedures etc. were also brought to the notice of the Commission.

The various procedural lapses that were brought to light before the Commission and the mismatch in the versions of the witnesses put the onus on the police personnel to prove that they had fired at the accused in self-defence.

It is likely that the Commission will bring up the lapses and hold the police personnel responsible for staging an encounter.

The panel was set up on December 12, 2019 to inquire into the circumstances leading to the killing of four accused in the case. The victim Disha was kidnapped and sexually assaulted near Outer Ring Road (ORR) on the outskirts of Hyderabad on the night of November 27, 2019. After the sexual assault, the accused murdered her and set her body on fire at an underpass in Chatanpally.

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TAGS:Disha rape case encounter killing disha commission 
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