Hyderabad: A day after the killing of four rape suspects in an exchange of fire at Chattanpally early on Friday, a team from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) flew down from New Delhi and examined the four bodies at the Government District Hospital in Mahabubnagar district here on Saturday.
The NHRC had sent the team after taking cognizance of the encounter killings of the suspects Mohammed Arif, and his accomplices Jollu Shiva, Jollu Naveen and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu and ordered an inquiry on Friday. It had said the encounter was ‘a matter of concern and needed to be probed carefully’ and asked its Director General (Investigation) to immediately send a team for a fact-finding, on-the-spot investigation.
Accordingly, a five-member team reached the hospital in the afternoon and waited till arrival of the three-member forensic doctors’ team from Gandhi Hospital headed by Kripal Singh. In the presence of the forensic doctors, the NHRC team examined the bullet injuries on the bodies along with the other wounds. During the team’s visit, mediapersons were not allowed inside the hospital in Mahabubnagar. Barring patients and their attendants, other outsiders too were not allowed. A tight police cordon was thrown around the hospital to prevent any untoward incident. Police teams escorted the NHRC team.
Sources said the team members, who came to the hospital at 1.30 p.m., interacted with the forensic doctors and collected information from them. They also examined the post-mortem report prepared by the forensic doctors. Briefing mediapersons later, Kripal Singh said they had conducted the autopsy in a transparent manner and adhered to norms.
The entire post-mortem proceedings were video-graphed, he said. Around 5.30 p.m., the team left the hospital and reached the encounter spot at Chattanpally on NH-44 where police officials explained the circumstances that resulted in the exchange of fire with the four suspects. The police officials also showed the NHRC team the spot under the culvert where the veterinarian’s charred body was found.
The team may also interact with family members of the four suspects at their residences in Narayanpet district on Sunday. The team is likely to conclude its visit on Monday and submit a report after reaching New Delhi.
Meanwhile, family members of the victim questioned the NHRC’s response to the encounter, and asked whether the human rights of their daughter did not matter.
Disha encounter: Shadnagar police book case
The Shadnagar police on Saturday registered a case in connection with the exchange of fire leading to the death of the four suspects in the Disha rape-and-murder case on Friday.
Based on a complaint from Shadnagar ACP V Surender, the case was booked under sections 307 (Attempt to murder), Indian Arms Act and 176 CrPC (Custodial death).
Though the case was booked by the Shadnagar police, which comes under the Cyberabad Commissionerate, to ensure transparency in the investigation, Rachakonda Special Operation Team Additional DCP Surender Reddy has been appointed as the Investigation Officer.
“The nodal officer will investigate the case in depth and submit a report to the superior official. The case charge-sheet will also be filed in the court at the earliest,” said a senior official associated with the investigation.
Bullet shells recovered
Earlier in the day, a CLUES team examined the spot where the four suspects were shot dead in an alleged exchange of fire at Chattanpally in Shadnagar early on Friday. A ten-member team equipped with metal detectors also searched the spot where the bodies were found and recovered three bullet shells. The team had retrieved eight shells on Friday from the spot. A total of 11 rounds were fired on the suspects.
Justice loses its character when it becomes revenge: CJI
Jodhpur: In the backdrop of the Hyderabad rape-murder incident and gunning down of the four accused in an alleged encounter, Chief Justice of India S A Bobde on Saturday said justice can never be instant and loses its character when it becomes revenge.
At the same time, he admitted that the recent events in the country have sparked off an old debate with new vigour, where there was no doubt that the criminal justice system must reconsider its position and attitude towards the time it takes to dispose of a case.
“But I don’t think justice can ever be or ought to be instant, and justice must never ever take the form of revenge. I believe justice loses its character of justice if it becomes revenge,” the CJI said during the inauguration of a new building of the Rajasthan High Court here.
The CJI’s remarks came a day after the police claimed that all the four accused in the rape and murder of a young veterinarian in Hyderabad were shot dead in “retaliatory” firing by the police when two of the accused opened fire at them after snatching their weapons and tried to escape from the site where they had been taken for a reconstruction of events as part of the investigation.
Addressing the event here, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad urged the CJI and other senior judges to ensure that there is a mechanism to monitor quick disposal of rape cases, saying that the women of the country were in pain and distress. “I would urge the CJI and other senior judge that now there must be a mechanism to monitor the disposal of these cases so that India’s stature as a proud country governed by rule of law must be restored at the earliest,” Prasad said, and assured government funding for it.
The Minister said there were 704 fast-track courts for heinous offences and others and the government was in the process of setting up 1,123 dedicated courts for POCSO and rape offences. “In the law relating to women violence, we have already laid down capital punishment and other severe punishment including completion of trial in two months time,” he added.
The Chief Justice of India, who spoke after the Minister, stressed that as an institution, the judiciary must remain committed to making justice accessible to people by strengthening the existing avenues and evolving newer means to achieve an affordable, quick and satisfactory settlement of disputes. “At the same time, we must be aware of the changes and perception about the judiciary,” Justice Bobde said.
He said there was a need in the judiciary to invoke self-correcting measures but whether or not they should be publicised was a matter of debate. “We have to devise methods for not only speeding up litigation but all together preventing it. There are laws which provide for pre-litigation mediation,” he said, adding that there was a need to consider compulsory pre-litigation mediation. Surprisingly, no courses were available for conferring a degree or diploma in mediation, he said.