The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea by a Mumbai-based lawyer raising objection to the appointment of Justice (retired) B S Chauhan to head the commission inquiring into the encounter killing of gangster Vikas Dubey.
“The enquiry held would be in public domain and the petitioner has already been granted the liberty of participating therein. The report of the enquiry is ordered to be filed in the petitions which were filed before this Court. Therefore, there would be sufficient safeguard to the manner in which the inquiry would be held,” a bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde said, dismissing the petition by Advocate Ghanshyam Upadhyay.
The bench said “we find that the petitioner has been raising unnecessary apprehensions and repeated applications are being filed which in fact is hampering the process of inquiry”.
The petition relied on a report in The Wire to allege conflict of interest on the part of Justice Chauhan and former UP DGP K L Gupta, who is a member of the commission. It was claimed that Justice Chauhan has kin in the BJP and that Gupta has relatives in the police department.
The bench said, “This Court in a series of decisions has repeatedly held that the newspaper item without any further proof is of no evidentiary value. The said principle laid down has thereafter been taken note in several public interest litigations to reject the allegations contained in the petition supported by newspaper report…”