New Delhi: Observing that "conclusions do
not support" the fake encounter theory, the Supreme Court
on Monday directed the CBI to file its final report by January 23,
2012, on the killing of top Maoist leader Cherukuri Rajkumar
and a journalist by Andhra Pradesh Police in July last year.
"One or two conclusions does not support the theory of
the encounter being fake," a bench of justices Aftab Alam and
Ranjana Prakash Desai observed, after briefly examining the
current "status report" submitted by Additional Solicitor
General Harin Rawal on behalf of the CBI.
The bench made the observation after counsel Prashant
Bhushan appearing for the deceased journalist`s wife Bineta
Pandey sought copies of the status report filed by the CBI.
The apex court told Bhushan that once the CBI files its
final report, his plea can be considered and he would be
allowed "to render full assistance" to the court on the issue.
On April 25, the apex court had asked the agency to try
complete the investigation within three months. The case was
transferred from the local police to the CBI in April 21 last
year on the intervention of the Supreme Court.
The state government had transferred the case to CBI
after the apex court issued notice to it on January 14 on
separate petitions filed by social activist Swami Agnivesh and
Bineeta Pandey, wife of the deceased scribe Hemchandra Pandey,
seeking a judicial probe into the incident.
The bench had earlier expressed displeasure over the
incident and remarked that "we cannot allow the republic
killing its own children."
Azad, a senior member of banned CPI (Maoist) Central
Committee, and Pandey, who was dubbed by the police as a
Maoist, were killed in an alleged fake encounter in Adilabad
district of Andhra Pradesh on the intervening night of July
Seeking a judicial probe into the killings, the petitions
alleged the post-mortem reports of both the persons and a
fact-finding exercise carried out by rights groups clearly
indicated that the encounter was not genuine.
It was alleged Azad, 58, who carried a reward of Rs 12
lakh on his head, and Pandey, 32, were shot dead from a
very close range, which is evident from their post-mortem