The Supreme Court has said it was “not inclined” to interfere with the findings of an inquiry commission in the alleged encounter killings of eight activists of the banned outfit, Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), after a prison break in Bhopal in 2016.
The commission, in its report, had given a clean chit to the Madhya Pradesh Police and had termed as “reasonable” and “inevitable” the use of force by the police that resulted in the deaths of eight SIMI activists.
A bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Navin Sinha and K M Joseph referred to the report of one-member commission, headed by a retired high court judge, and said there was no point in keeping the plea seeking independent probe into the case pending before it.
“Inquiry report of a retired high court judge has come. The report is negative,” the bench said, adding, “There is no point in keeping the matter pending”.
“In view of the report of the commission of inquiry constituted by a retired High Court judge, which has been brought on record, we are not inclined to interfere. The
special leave petition is accordingly disposed of,” the bench said.
The bench was dealing with a petition filed by a relative of one of those killed in the encounter seeking an independent probe in the incident.
The counsel appearing for the petitioner claimed in the court that the accused had not fired at the policemen and wanted to surrender.
The lawyer alleged that it was an extra judicial killing of eight persons and an independent inquiry was needed in the matter.
The commission, in its report tabled in the Madhya Pradesh assembly in June this year, had said, “The use of force resulting in the death of the escaped persons was quite inevitable and quite reasonable under the prevailing circumstances.”
The apex court had in July last year sought the responses of the Centre and others on a plea filed by Mehmooda Mohammed Salim Mucchhale which had also sought a court-monitored probe by an independent agency like a special investigation team (SIT) or the CBI.
The petitioner had said that Madhya Pradesh High Court had refused to entertain a similar plea and not considered the fact that the one-man commission had not permitted him and other relatives of these undertrial prisoners to participate in the proceedings.
Eight SIMI activists, who had escaped from Central Jail in Bhopal, were killed on October 31, 2016 in an alleged police encounter.
The activists had escaped from the jail after allegedly killing a security guard and scaling the prison wall with the help of bedsheets, following which some officials responsible for jail security were suspended.
The SIMI activists were identified as Amzad, Zakir Hussain Sadiq, Mohammad Salik, Mujeeb Shaikh, Mehbood Guddu, Mohammad Kalid Ahmed, Aqeel and Majid.