An NGO moved the Supreme Court on Saturday for an SIT probe into the killing of Vikas Dubey and his two aides in Uttar Pradesh, saying the police version of the encounter of the gangster "raises many serious questions".
People's Union for Civil Liberties, which had moved the top court seeking an SIT or CBI probe into UP police encounters between January 2017 and March 2018, has filed a fresh interim plea in its pending PIL urging the court to set up a panel headed by a former SC judge to probe the encounters and the nexus between criminals and politicians.
Gangster Dubey was killed Friday morning by UP police near Kanpur during his transit from Ujjain allegedly after he tried to escape from the spot following an accident of the vehicle carrying him. His two alleged associates, Amar Dubey and Prabhat Mishra, were also killed by police in separate encounters.
The NGO, in its plea filed through lawyer Aparna Bhat, referred to the sequence of events and said, "The police version of the encounter raises many serious questions, in particular, whether they are simple administrative liquidations."
"Constitute a Special Investigation Team to investigate into the present encounters of Vikas Dubey, Amar Dubey and Prabhat Mishra," the plea said.
It said a police encounter is a "serious crime and an offence against the entire society".
"If such a crime is committed with the support of the State or where the State condones such an offence, it takes a very serious dimension, questioning the entire rule of law and governance in accordance with the Constitution."
The plea said the apex court's directions on procedures to be followed during and after encounters are not being adhered to by the state which is "flouting the said judgment and indulging in massive encounters with impunity."
The NGO, in its PIL, referred to the binding guidelines laid down by the apex court in a judgment delivered on one of its PILs that said "each such encounter is required to be investigated on the basis of FIR, followed by a magisterial inquiry and thereafter, a criminal trial in accordance with law".
"The incidents, which have been revealed in the killing of Vikas Dubey and his associates, are very shocking in particular keeping in view continuous cases of mass encounters in the state of UP which have taken place from January 1, 2017, onwards," it said in the fresh plea.
Prior to this, the Mumbai-based lawyer Ghanshyan Upadhyay had moved a PIL in the Supreme Court, seeking a direction to the Uttar Pradesh government and the police to safeguard Dubey's life and ensure he was not killed by them.
The lawyer had also sought registration of an FIR and an apex court-monitored probe by the CBI into the encounter of five co-accused who were alleged to be associated with Dubey in the killing of eight policemen in Kanpur last week.
Another PIL on the same issue has been filed by Delhi-based lawyer Anoop Praksah Awasthi. He has sought a court-monitored probe by CBI or NIA to "investigate/probe and prosecute the police-criminal-politician nexus in the killing of 8 police personnel in Uttar Pradesh... and every killing in encounter by police of the gang members of Vikas Dubey including his own killing on July 10."
Eight policemen, including DSP Devendra Mishra, were ambushed in Bikru village in Chaubeypur area of Kanpur when they had gone to arrest Dubey and fell to bullets fired from rooftops.
Dubey faced a total of 61 criminal cases, including eight involving the killing of at least 15 people.