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Gujarat govt opposes attempt to disclose report on police encounters

A bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi allowed the state to place its objection in the form of an affidavit after solicitor general Tushar Mehta asked that the court hear him before it decides on the petitioners’ request for a copy of the report, which was submitted to the court earlier this year by the committee in a sealed cover.

india Updated: Dec 03, 2018 23:03 IST

Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The Gujarat government on Monday opposed before the Supreme Court any attempt to disclose the contents of the Justice HS Bedi committee’s final report on alleged fake encounters in the state
The Gujarat government on Monday opposed before the Supreme Court any attempt to disclose the contents of the Justice HS Bedi committee’s final report on alleged fake encounters in the state(PTI/Representative Image)
         

The Gujarat government on Monday opposed before the Supreme Court any attempt to disclose the contents of the Justice HS Bedi committee’s final report on alleged fake encounters in the state between 2002 and 2007 with the petitioners on whose plea the top court constituted the monitoring panel.

A bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi allowed the state to place its objection in the form of an affidavit after solicitor general Tushar Mehta asked that the court hear him before it decides on the petitioners’ request for a copy of the report, which was submitted to the court earlier this year by the committee in a sealed cover. The court fixed December 12 to hear the matter again even as Mehta urged it to postpone the hearing to January next year.

“No, we need to hear the matter,” the CJI remarked, brushing aside Mehta’s request.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for petitioners, asked for a copy of the report to enable him argue his case.

He said the court had in the past provided a copy of the progress reports that the committee gave to it at regular intervals.

“This is the final report and we should have a copy before we can go forward,” Bhushan said.

The petitions, filed in 2007, asked for an inquiry into 22 alleged fake encounters in Gujarat.

In 2012, the Supreme Court formed a monitoring committee led by its former judge Justice HS Bedi to investigate the encounters. The court asked the Gujarat government to extend full cooperation to the panes, which was asked to look into whether there was a pattern to show that minority community in the state was targeted as terrorists, as alleged in the petitions.

Top political and police officials in the state were under the scanner for the alleged fake encounters.

Initially, the committee was granted three months to give its report. Later, the time was extended several times. Seven interim reports were filed by the committee before the top court.

First Published: Dec 03, 2018 23:02 IST

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