'Why the elaborate press briefing', asks commission on 2019 Hyderabad encounter

It also questioned the necessity to record the statements of the accused in the presence of fresh panchas for a second time, even though the IO had recorded their statements immediately.

Published: 23rd November 2021 08:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd November 2021 08:02 AM   |  A+A-

2019 Hyderabad encounter, Hyderabad Veterinarian rape and murder case, Priyanka Reddy

People raise slogans in favour of police at the encounter site, where four accused in the rape-and-murder case were killed in an exchange of fire with police. (File | PTI)

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: After the State counsels presented their arguments, the commission directed several questions at them on matters pertaining to the alleged illegalities in the arrest of the accused.

"What was the idea behind holding a huge press meet to announce the arrest and revealing the confessional statements of the accused to the media, even before producing their statements to the court," the commission asked. 

It also questioned the necessity to record the statements of the accused in the presence of fresh panchas for a second time, even though the investigating officer (IO) had recorded their statements immediately after the arrest. When the counsels submitted that it was done for an efficient investigation, the commission asked: "What precious material did the police find by examining the accused for a second time?"

Justice VS Sirpurkar, the chairman of the commission, asked the counsels: "If there are discoveries, won’t they be made during the day? What is the point of taking the accused out when it’s dark outside? Why not take them to the spot straight from jail, rather than taking them to the safe house and arranging additional security in two shifts? You could have avoided taking them into custody at night, considering you already had a confession statement," he said.

When the counsels informed that it was done to ascertain whether the accused were involved in other crimes, Justice Sirpurkar observed: "It is not just extraordinary, it is intriguing."

'Just an ordinary crowd'

The counsels produced the photographs of 'crowds'gathered outside Cherlapally Central Prison when the accused were being sent on judicial remand. "I can only see a very ordinary crowd. Who took these photos and at what time? None of these details are here," Justice Sirpurkar pointed out.

The counsels then submitted: "These people are enough to mobilise huge crowds. Our interest was the safety of the accused."


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