Following the plea seeking a court-monitored CBI or SIT probe into incidents of alleged police encounters and killings in Uttar Pradesh, the Supreme Court on Monday agreed to consider and examine it.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S K Kaul perused the material on record and said issues raised in the petition by the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) required "serious consideration" and fixed the hearing on February 12.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, however, claimed all norms and procedures were followed by the state administration.
Earlier, the apex court had sought response from the state government on the PIL filed by the NGO, alleging that there were about 1,100 encounters in 2017 in which 49 people were killed and 370 injured.
The NGO, in its plea, referred to news reports quoting Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya and ADG (law and order) Anand Kumar justifying encounter killings of criminals in the state.
It sought a probe into the encounters by an independent agency -- the Central Bureau of Investigation or a Special Investigation Team comprising police officers of "integrity and who have not served in the state of Uttar Pradesh".
Quoting the figure provided by the state to the NHRC, it said 45 persons died between January 1, 2017 till March 31, 2018.