SC refuses judicial probe in Naxal leader Azad’s killing

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to order any judicial inquiry or a probe by a Special Investigation Team into the alleged fake encounter killings of top Naxalite leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad and a Delhi

A bench of justices Aftab Alam and C K Prasad said there was no reason to believe the allegation that the investigation conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the encounter was not “honest”.

The bench directed the CBI to file its investigation reports before the jurisdictional magistrate concerned in Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh, where the encounter took place on July 1, 2010.

The apex court said that the Magistrate shall not be influenced by any observations or findings of the CBI report and should proceed in accordance with the law as provided under section 173 CrPC which relates to ‘report of police officer on completion of investigation’.

The apex court passed the order while disposing of the petition by Bineeta Pandey seeking a judicial inquiry or a probe by the SIT into the encounter on ground that the probe conducted by the CBI was not honest.

Counsel Prashant Bhushan appearing for the petitioners alleged that the CBI officers, who gave a clean chit to the Andhra Pradesh police on the encounter, were under the influence of the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram [ Images ]. He claimed that though the CBI was technically under the control of the Department of Personnel & Training, the cadre controlling was under the Union home ministry and hence was vulnerable to pressure and influence.

The counsel further submitted that the slain Naxalite leader Azad was in constant touch with Chidambaram as part of the central government’s efforts to reach a ceasefire with the Maoists.

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