The Judicial panel appointed by the Supreme Court last year to investigate the alleged fake encounter of four rape-murder accused in Hyderabad has filed an application before the Supreme Court seeking more time to complete the investigation, which got delayed due to COVID 19 pandemic.
On December 12, the bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde had set up the panel on a petition filed by two advocates, GS Mani and Pradeep Kumar Yadav, seeking an independent investigation into the fake encounter of the four accused of raping and murdering a 26-year-old veterinarian in Hyderabad last November.
The panel, headed by former Supreme Court judge, Justice VS Sirpurkar, has requested the court to grant six months to complete the probe. The court had earlier asked the panel to complete the investigation by September 3.
The application stated: “Even though the work of the commission is continuing, the same could not be completed because of the prevailing pandemic situation… Therefore, the inquiry commission is constrained to apply for an extension of time of six months from the date the commission is able to function with physical hearings, spot inspections etc.”
The panel, further highlighting the present situation leading to the delay in investigation, submitted: “The Government of India has extended the lockdown from time to time, severely affecting the inter-state movement. Though the lockdown restrictions have been relaxed now, the situation in Hyderabad has further deteriorated. Several persons working in the premises allocated to the commission were found to be COVID positive. There are no other premises available for the commission to hold hearings. Travel between states is still not feasible because of the increasing rates of infection.”
– India Legal Bureau
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