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Top Maoist leader's encounter in 2010 genuine: SC

March 16, 2012 14:45 IST

The Supreme Court on Friday said that a Central Bureau of Investigation probe has established that the killing of top Maoist leader Cherukuri Rajkumar and a journalist, by Andhra Pradesh Police in July 2010, was not a fake encounter.

"The investigation does not seem to bear out your (petitioners) apprehension that it was a fake encounter," a bench comprising of justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai said.

The bench, which went through the final report of the CBI in the investigation, said that the agency has given evidence to support its probe.

"They (the CBI) have done a painstaking and thorough investigation," the bench said. "We have carefully gone through the sequence of events," it further said.

It said that prima facie it does not appear to be a fake encounter. "I went through the report very carefully," Justice Alam said.

The bench agreed to the plea of advocate Prashant Bhushan that he be allowed to go through the final report of the CBI which held the incident as a genuine encounter.

The bench allowed the petitioner to seek the report from the apex court registry, with the instruction that he will maintain the confidentiality of the report. "We are confident you will respect the confidentiality of the report," the bench said and added, "We trust you, therefore, we are allowing you to have the report."

The court fixed the matter for further hearing on April 13, so that the petitioners can apprise the court about anything they would like to say on the report.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Bineeta Pandey, wife of the slain journalist Hemchandra Pandey, and social activist Swami Agnivesh, who had sought an independent CBI probe into the killing.
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