New Delhi, July 28: The Supreme Court Tuesday dismissed the pleas seeking removal of former high court judge Justice (retd) Shashi Kant Agarwal and retired Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) K L Gupta from the inquiry panel constituted to probe the killing of gangster Vikas Dubey in an alleged encounter.

The apex court had last week approved a draft notification by the UP government recommending the names of retired Supreme Court judge B S Chauhan and ex-DGP K L Gupta to the panel which would probe the killing of eight policemen and the subsequent encounters of Dubey and five of his alleged associates. The panel already had retired Allahabad High Court judge Justice Shashi Kant Agarwal.

A bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, said it would not allow the petitioners to cast aspersions on the inquiry commission members, The Indian Express reported. The top court was hearing two petitions filed by Ghanshyam Upadhyay and Anoop Prakash Awasthi seeking their removal.

After Dubey’s encounter, ex-DGP Gupta had said in a TV debate that it was not right to doubt the police.

Asked about his remarks, ex-DGP Gupta had told The Indian Express, “Once we are made a part of the inquiry, we should not speak much on the process. Now we have to work more and speak less. We will be objective and fair to the inquiry.”

The Supreme Court bench, after perusing media reports pertaining to interviews given by Gupta, said the inquiry would not be vitiated as there are two judges part of the commission.

Eight policemen, including DSP Devendra Mishra, who were ambushed in Bikru village in Chaubeypur area of Kanpur when they were going to arrest Dubey and fell to bullets fired from rooftops shortly after midnight on July 3.

Dubey was killed in an encounter in the morning of July 10 when a police vehicle carrying him from Ujjain to Kanpur met with an accident and he tried to escape from the spot in Bhauti area, the police had said.

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