New Delhi: Observing that "conclusions do not support" the fake encounter theory, the Supreme Court on Mondat directed the CBI to file its final report by January 23, 2012, on the killing of top Maoist leader Cherukuri Rajkumar and a journalist by Andhra Pradesh Police in July last year.

"One or two conclusions does not support the theory of the encounter being fake," a bench of justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai observed, after briefly examining the current "status report" submitted by Additional Solicitor General Harin Rawal on behalf of the CBI.

The bench made the observation after counsel Prashant Bhushan appearing for the deceased journalist's wife Bineta Pandey sought copies of the status report filed by the CBI.

The Apex Court told Bhushan that once the CBI files its final report, his plea can be considered and he would be allowed "to render full assistance" to the court on the issue.

On April 25, the Apex Court had asked the agency to try completing the investigation within three months. The case was transferred from the local police to the CBI in April 21 last year on the intervention of the Supreme Court.

The state government had transferred the case to CBI after the Apex Court issued notice to it on January 14 on separate petitions filed by social activist Swami Agnivesh and Bineeta Pandey, wife of the deceased scribe Hemchandra Pandey, seeking a judicial probe into the incident.

The bench had earlier expressed displeasure over the incident and remarked that "we cannot allow the republic killing its own children."

Azad, a senior member of banned CPI (Maoist) Central Committee, and Pandey, who was dubbed by the police as a Maoist, were killed in an alleged fake encounter in Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh on the intervening night of July 1-2, 2010.

(Agencies)