18 April, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma
SC resolved to hear petition requesting creation of Independenct Expert Committee led by former SC judge to examine murder of Atiq and Ashraf Ahmed on April 24.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court resolved to hear a petition requesting the creation of an Independent Expert Committee led by a former Supreme Court judge to examine the murders of Atiq and Ashraf in the presence of police on April 24.
Advocate Vishal Tiwari appeared before a bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, requesting an immediate hearing on his case. The date was set for April 24 by the Supreme Court. Advocate Tiwari indicated in the Supreme Court’s urgent hearing of his application to appoint an Independent Expert Committee chaired by a retired Supreme Court judge.
Advocate Tiwari petitioned the Supreme Court to form an Independent Expert Committee chaired by a former Supreme Court Justice to investigate the 183 encounters reported by Uttar Pradesh Special Director General of Police (Law and Order) since 2017, as well as the brazen murder of gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed and his Ashraf while in police custody.
On Sunday, Atiq and Ashraf were shot dead while they were being transported to a hospital in Prayagraj under strong police protection.
Advocate Vishal Tiwari, in his public interest litigation, also sought a direction to unearth the fake encounters by directing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate, collect and record the evidence in the Kanpur Bikru Encounter case 2020, in which Vikas Dubey and his aides were killed by police in the encounter as the inquiry commission could not record the evidence in a rebuttal of police version and filed the inquiry report in absence of that.
“The daredevils which Uttar Pradesh police has tried to become,” the petition stated.
The petitioner said his PIL is against the violation of rule of law, alleging that oppressive brutality was being perpetrated by Uttar Pradesh Police.
The petitioner informed the court that he had addressed it in a matter connected to the Kanpur encounter with Vikas Dubey, claiming that Uttar Pradesh police had replicated a similar scenario in the encounter death of Asad, son of Atiq Ahmad.
According to the petitioner, such instances pose a serious threat to democracy and the rule of law, as well as the emergence of anarchy and, at first glance, the development of a police-state.
He also stated that extrajudicial executions and phoney police encounters are illegal and cannot exist in a democratic society, and that the police cannot be permitted to become a way of dispensing final justice or a punitive authority.
“The power of punishment is only vested in the Judiciary. The police when becomes ‘DARE DEVILS’ then the entire rule of law collapses and generates the fear in the mind of people against the police which is very dangerous for the Democracy and this also results into further crime,” the petitioner said.
Atiq and Ashraf were in the custody of UP Police on April 15, the day they were shot dead in broad media spotlight, and the onus was on them to protect the safety of the gangster siblings, the lawyer said.
According to the lawyer, the perpetrators, masquerading as media workers, shot Atiq and Ashraf dead in front of police officers.
“This is a direct attack on Indian democracy and rule of law. Later the assailants were arrested but during the commission of the offence, there was no protection or retaliation by the police. Such imposes a question on the transparency and proves this matter as a pre-planned attack with no redressal for the accused,” Advocate Vishal Tiwari said in his petition.