In the wake of a sting operation in connection with the Tulsiram Prajapati killing in Gujarat, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe whether the ongoing investigation and judicial process in the case had been manipulated.
The commission also decided to probe the matter and issued notices to the Gujarat chief secretary and director general of police, seeking details in the matter immediately, failing which it would summon them.
Attaching a CD of the sting operation, the commission has written a letter to CBI Director Ranjit Sinha, saying a report in the matter should be furnished urgently to the Supreme Court, in "view of the revelations in the enclosed CD".
The panel, which got into the issue on the ground that the deceased belonged to the Other Backward Classes category, said it has taken "serious cognizance" of the case in view of the sting operation.
"The issue further becomes serious because this particular encounter murder case is being investigated by CBI and monitored by the Hon'ble Supreme Court," said the letter written by the commission's Joint Secretary T Theethan on Wednesday.
He wrote that the "copy of the sting operation CD is also being sent for taking cognizance in which there is evidence about manipulation of the judicial process and interference in the administration of justice".
Theethan said, "I would request you to furnish an urgent report, indicating details of the case and steps taken by the CBI to effectively defend the case before the Hon'ble Supreme Court. It would also be appropriate if a report on the latter is submitted to Hon'ble Supreme Court in view of the revelations in the enclosed CD."
In its notice to the Gujarat chief secretary and DGP, the commission said, "This Commission has decided to investigate/ inquire into the matter in pursuance of the powers conferred upon it under Article 338 of the Constitution of India. You are hereby requested to submit the facts and information on the action taken on the allegations/matters to this Commission forthwith after receipt of this notice.
"Please take notice that in case the commission does not receive reply from you within the stipulated time, the commission may exercise the powers of civil courts conferred on it under Article 338 of the Constitution of India and issue summons for your appearance in person or by a representative before the Commission."
The commission acted after its Chairman P L Punia received a representation in the wake of the sting operation which purportedly showed Bharatiya Janata Party Members of Parliament Prakash Javadekar and Bhupender Singh Yadav.
Prajapati was killed in an alleged fake encounter by the Gujarat police in December 2006.
Image: BJP MP Prakash Javadekar