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5 judges contract Covid; SC to hear Atiq Ahmed murder plea Friday

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5 judges contract Covid; SC to hear Atiq Ahmed murder plea Friday
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New Delhi: Supreme Court agreed on Monday to list a plea demanding a probe into the killings of gangster-politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf for hearing. The court will hear the same on Friday because there is a shortage of five judges as they contracted Covid-19, IANS reported. The plea prayed the court to issue directions to form an expert committee, led by a former Supreme Court judge to probe the killing that happened on April 15.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India, DY Chandrachud, during the mentioning of cases, informed the lawyers that five judges of the apex court are suffering from Covid.

"Since five judges are not available, some cases in which dates were given have not been listed. We will try to list this on Friday," he said.

Advocate Vishal Tiwari moved the apex court seeking an independent expert committee and also sought an inquiry into the 183 encounters that have taken place in Uttar Pradesh since 2017.

Tiwari mentioned the plea for hearing on Monday before the bench, also comprising Justice P.S. Narasimha.

Atiq and Ashraf Ahmed were shot dead on April 15 by three assailants, posing as journalists, while they were being escorted by police personnel to a medical college in Prayagraj for a check-up.

The plea sought guidelines to safeguard the rule of law by constituting an independent expert committee under the chairmanship of a former Supreme Court judge and also to inquire into the 183 encounters which had occurred since 2017, as stated by Uttar Pradesh Special Director General of Police (Law and Order).

The petitioner also sought a probe into the murders under police custody and stressed that "such actions by police are a severe threat to democracy and the rule of law and lead to a police state".

The petition added that extra-judicial killings and fake police encounters have no space under the law. It contented that the police can not be allowed to become a mode of delivering justice in a democracy since the power of punishment is vested only in the judiciary.

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TAGS:Supreme CourtmurderAtiq Ahmed
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