The Telangana government on Monday filed a special leave petition before the Supreme Court, against an order by the High Court in Hyderabad, which directed a magistrate to record the statements of eyewitnesses in the alleged encounter killing of CPI (ML) New Democracy leader Linganna.
The government sought the SC, to issue orders to HC to give it more time to file a counter on Linganna's death and the series of events surrounding it.
The High Courtâ€™s August 21 order came on the back of a petition filed by civil rights activist Prof Gaddam Lakshman. In his petition, he alleged that the death which took place on July 31 was a stage-managed gun battle as the body of Linganna bore injury marks.
The petitioner sought direction to the state government to form a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the 'fake encounter'. He also sought direction to police to register a murder case against police personnel responsible for the killing.
According to reports, after the HC's order, the magistrate on August 26 furnished the eyewitness statements in a sealed cover. However, the court observed that only one of the eyewitness statements could be taken into consideration. It also asked the state government to file a counter and posted the matter to September 13.
Linganna was gunned down by police on July 31 in Gundala forests in Telangana's Bhadradri-Kothagudem district. Police claimed that he was killed in an exchange of fire but CPI (ML) New Democracy alleged that he was caught and killed in cold blood by the police.
The first autopsy was conducted at a hospital in Kothagudem. However, as activists moved court, Linganna's body was shifted from Kothagudem town to Hyderabad for fresh autopsy. The court directed the Superintendent of the state-run Gandhi Hospital to constitute a three-member committee of expert doctors to conduct a fresh autopsy.