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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

SC rejects Gujarat govt’s plea to keep ex-judge’s report on ‘fake encounters’ confidential

In a setback to the Gujarat government, the Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected its plea to keep confidential the report submitted by justice HS Bedi, a former top court judge, on the 24 alleged cases of fake encounters in the state between 2002 and 2006.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2019 14:15 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Supreme Court
Supreme Court(Sunil Saxena/HT File Photo)
         

In a setback to the Gujarat government, the Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected its plea to keep confidential the report submitted by justice HS Bedi, a former top court judge, on the 24 alleged cases of fake encounters in the state between 2002 and 2006.

The bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi handed over a copy of the report to both the parties and sought a response from them within four weeks.

The top court observed that it is yet to accept the probe report and would decide on it after hearing both parties.

The Supreme Court had asked justice Bedi in December last year to inform it if the final report on the fake encounters was prepared in consultation with other members of the monitoring committee that had supervised the investigations in the cases.

That order came after the Gujarat government raised an objection that justice Bedi’s final report was unilateral and in contradiction with its earlier reports, where views of other members of the monitoring authority were taken.

Justice Bedi was appointed as chairperson in 2012 of the monitoring committee investigating the encounter cases from 2002 to 2006 in Gujarat on a petition filed by lyricist Javed Akhtar and journalist BG Verghese.

The task of the monitoring committee was to oversee investigations in encounter deaths by a special task force and to receive complaints from the victims’ families. The monitoring committee had submitted its report in a sealed cover in February last year.

Imputing motive behind the PIL that sought probe in the fake encounters, solicitor general Tushar Mehta, appearing for Gujarat argued that the petitioners’ conscience awakens only for encounter deaths in a particular state. Mehta argued that the final report submitted by justice Bedi is a unilateral action on his part.

First Published: Jan 09, 2019 12:38 IST

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