SC blow for Modi: Probe fake encounters
In a setback to the Narendra Modi government, the Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the monitoring committee headed by a retired SC judge to conduct a thorough probe into the alleged fake encounters between 2002 and 2006 in Gujarat.delhi Updated: Jan 26, 2012 01:22 IST
In a setback to the Narendra Modi government, the Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the monitoring committee headed by a retired SC judge to conduct a thorough probe into the alleged fake encounters between 2002 and 2006 in Gujarat.
The Gujarat government had formed the Justice MB Shah committee in April last year to monitor the investigation of such cases.
The court's direction came on two PILs filed by veteran journalist BG Verghese and lyricist Javed Akhtar. While Verghese had sought an inquiry into 21 alleged fake encounters during the period, Akhtar wanted the court to appoint a SIT to carry out the probe.
Akhtar had alleged the encounters targeted innocent persons, particularly from the Muslim community. Both contended the encounters between 2002 and 2006 showed a pattern where people from the minority community were killed after being branded terrorists.
The SC empowered the panel to constitute an independent team comprising officers either from the Gujarat Special Task Force or from outside.
It said the chairman could also call for police case records or records from human rights bodies in respect of any encounter deaths referred to in the petitions. But the court, clarified the committee will not delve into cases that are being probed by other agencies or teams under apex court orders.
The panel can also hear the petitioners, victims of the alleged encounters or their kith and kin. It will also look into the issue of granting compensation to victims family in case the encounter is declared fake.