UP govt files Caveat in SC to constitute Independent Expert Committee to inquire into Atiq, Ashraf killings

26 April, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma

Atiq National

UP govt has filed a caveat in SC in response to plea seeking formation of Independent Expert Committee to investigate killings of Atiq and Ashraf in Prayagraj.

The Uttar Pradesh government has filed a caveat application in the Supreme Court in response to a petition seeking the formation of an Independent Expert Committee chaired by a former Supreme Court judge to investigate the deaths of Atiq and Ashraf in the presence of police.

The Supreme Court announced on Monday that it will hear a petition to form an Independent Expert Committee chaired by a former Supreme Court judge to investigate the deaths of Atiq and Ashraf in the presence of police. A litigant files a Caveat application to ensure that no adverse order is issued against them without being heard.

Previously, advocate Vishal Tiwari filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court seeking the formation of 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 murder of gangster turned politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf who were in police custody.

Tiwari also asked for the formation of an Independent Expert Committee, chaired by a former Supreme Court judge, to investigate the deaths of Atiq and Ashraf.

Advocate Vishal Tiwari appeared before a bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, requesting an urgent hearing on his plea and informing the court that the matter would be scheduled for today. CJI Chandrachud stated that some matters could not be listed because five judges were unable to attend due to illness.

In his public interest litigation, advocate Vishal Tiwari has also sought to issue a directive to unearth the fake encounters by directing the Central Bureau of Investigation to investigate, collect, and record evidence in the Kanpur Bikru Encounter case 2020, in which Vikas Dubey and his aides were killed by a police encounter.

As the inquiry commission could not record the evidence in rebuttal of the police version and filed the inquiry report in the absence of that. “The Uttar Pradesh police tried to become the Daredevils,” the petition said.

The petitioner stated that his public interest litigation is in response to Uttar Pradesh’s violation of the rule of law and oppressive police brutality.

The petitioner has informed the court that he has approached the court in relation to the Kanpur encounter on Vikas Dubey and stated that a similar incident was repeated by Uttar Pradesh police that the encounter killing of Azad, son of Atiq Ahmad, a gangster turned politician, and killing of Atiq Ahmad and his brother Ashraf by private assailants while they were in police custody and were taken for medical examination.

According to the petitioner, such incidents pose a serious threat to democracy and the rule of law, and such acts constitute the establishment of anarchy and the preliminary development of the police state.

He also stated that extrajudicial killings and phoney police encounters have been severely punished by the law, and that such things cannot exist in a democratic society. The police cannot be allowed to become a mode of delivering final justice or a punishing authority, according to the petitioner.

“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 fear in the mind of people against the police which is very dangerous for Democracy and also results in further crime,” the petitioner said.

On April 15, gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmad and his brother Ashraf were killed by Uttar Pradesh Police while being taken for medical examination. They were in the custody of the UP police, and the police were responsible for ensuring the accused’s safety, according to the lawyer.

According to the lawyer, a few private assailants disguised as media journalists killed and shot dead Atiq and Ashraf in front of police officers, with no protection provided by the police.

“Such is a direct attack on Indian democracy and the rule of law. Later the assailants were arrested but during the commission of the offence, there was no protection and 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.