Supreme Court on Friday refused to keep Justice VS Sirpukar Commission’s report in Disha rape case, to probe the encounter of four rape accused, in a sealed cover. The bench has directed to make the report public and also stated that the report should be shared with all involved parties.
The three-member inquiry commission has found that the encounter of the four rape accused was ‘staged’ and the accused were deliberately fired upon with an intent to cause death. Supreme Court has recommended that ten police officials should be tried for the murder of the four rape accused.
The committee stated that there were glaring lapses in the investigation. In the report, it was also mentioned that the story that the accused snatched the pistols of police and tried to escape is unbelievable and is not backed by any evidence.
The report stated, “In our considered opinion, the accused were deliberately fired upon with an intent to cause their death and with the knowledge that the firing would invariably result in the death of the deceased suspect.”
We are of the opinion that at the relevant time, Jolu Shiva, Jolu Naveen, and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu were minors, the committee added.
On Friday morning, the three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Surya Kant rejected the proposal by Advocate Shyam Divan to keep the report in a sealed cover. The bench has also transferred the case to Telangana High Court for further action.
On 27th November 2019, 26-year-old veterinarian Disha (name changed to protect the identity of the victim) was raped and burnt alive by four men at Shadnagar while she was on her way home. Three of the accused were minors.
Hyderabad police encountered the four accused – Mohammed Arif, Jollu Shiva, Jollu Naveen and Chennakesavulu – on 6 December 2019. The police had submitted that the accused were taken to the crime location to reconstruct the crime scene. It was alleged that the accused snatched the pistol from the hands of the police and tried to escape which led to their encounter.
On one hand, the encounter was celebrated by many people who applauded the Hyderabad police. On the other hand, many human rights organizations and activists condemned the act of the police.
“Now nobody will ever know if the four men killed by the police were innocent men, arrested fast to show action. And whether four of the most brutal rapists roam free, to rape and kill more women,” stated Supreme Court lawyer Karuna Nandy.
“The case should have been tried in court,” said Maneka Gandhi.
“Alleged extrajudicial execution had raised disturbing questions and asked for an independent investigation,” wrote Amnesty International.
“The police are acting on what they see as public support. And today we find not just public support, ordinary citizens, but we are finding members of parliament demanding lynchings, demanding killings, and if that is the case, how do you expect the police to act? The parliament has to uphold constitutional law,” said activist Rukmini Rao.
“To appease public rage over state failures against sexual assault, Indian authorities commit another violation,” tweeted Meenakshi Ganguly.