New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear on April 28 a plea seeking an independent probe into the murder of gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj. The petition, filed by advocate Vishal Tiwari, has also sought a probe into 183 encounters in Uttar Pradesh since 2017. Tiwari mentioned for urgent listing of the matter on Monday before a bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha.
The Supreme Court agrees to list on April 28 a plea seeking setting up of an independent expert committee headed by a former Supreme Court judge to probe the killing of mafia brothers Atiq and Ashraf in the presence of police. pic.twitter.com/sDlJ9qDlnK– ANI (@ANI) April 24, 2023
He told the bench that his petition was scheduled to come up for hearing on Monday but it has not been listed. The CJI said, “Since five judges are not available, some matters in which dates were given have not been listed. We will try to list it on Friday (April 28).” While some are unwell for other reasons.
Ateeq Ahmed (60) and Ashraf were shot at by three men posing as journalists during a media interaction on the night of April 15, when policemen were taking them to a medical college in Prayagraj for examination.
Plea to probe 183 encounters in UP since 2017
The Uttar Pradesh police recently said it had killed 183 alleged criminals in encounters in the six years of the government led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and this included Ahmed’s son Asad and his accomplice.
The petition filed in the apex court has sought setting up of an independent expert committee to probe the murder of Atiq and Ashraf. “Issue guidelines/instructions to protect the rule of law by constituting an independent expert committee headed by a former Supreme Court judge to probe the 183 encounters that have taken place since 2017, as directed by the Special Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh ( Law and order) and also investigate the custodial killing of Atiq and Ashraf.
Referring to Atiq’s killing, the petition said, “Such action by the police is a serious threat to democracy and rule of law and leads to a police state.” The plea states, “In a democratic society, the police cannot be allowed to be the ultimate judge or the punishing institution. The power of punishment is vested only in the judiciary.”
It said that extrajudicial killings or fake police encounters have no place in the law. The petition states that when the police become “daredevils”, the entire rule of law breaks down and instills fear in the minds of people against the police, which is very dangerous for democracy and also results in more crimes. .