HYDERABAD: The Hyderabad High Court today ordered the Special Investigation Team constituted to probe the killing of 20 people in police firing in Seshachalam forests of Andhra Pradesh's Chittoor district, to complete its investigation in 60 days and submit a report to the court.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta and Justice P V Sanjay Kumar of the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad, while passing an interim order, expressed dissatisfaction over the case diary that was produced by the investigating officer to the court.
The court had last week directed the AP Police to furnish the case diary before the court today, relating to a case registered in connection with the killing of the 20 people in police firing.
The case was posted to May 1 for further hearing.
"For the time being we are giving 60 days time to complete the investigation. You (Govt) should produce the progress of the investigation from next hearing. The investigation should be conducted impartially," Chief Justice Sengupta said while passing the interim order.
The judges also observed that in case it is felt that the investigation is not satisfactory, then the court will appoint an independent team for the probe.
Bowing to pressure from various quarters, the Andhra Pradesh government recently issued orders for handing over the case to SIT, headed by senior IPS officer Ravishankar Ayyanar.
Raghunath submitted before the court that Ayyanar himself is known as an "encounter specialist" and the investigation under his leadership may not be justifiable. He also brought to the court's notice that one of the members of the SIT was allegedly involved in the incident.
However, the bench suggested him to file an affidavit if there are any objections on any of the members of the SIT.
"We cannot take oral submissions. You (defence) file an affidavit with all your concerns. We will look into that.At this stage we cannot comment," the bench said.
Twenty people were gunned down in Seshachalam forests of Chittoor district on April 7 in an operation by the police.
Based on a complaint filed by Muniyammal, the wife of one of the victims Sashi Kumar, the AP police had earlier registered an FIR under sections 302 (murder) and 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder) against "unknown" task force personnel.