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SC rejects Gujarat govt’s plea on fake encounters report

Rejecting the Gujarat government’s plea, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered that the final report of the Justice H.S. Bedi Committee on 24 alleged fake encounter cases from 2002 to 2006 in the state be given to parties that approached the court.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it would decide later on whether to accept or reject the final report of the Justice Bedi Committee on encounter cases.

The Supreme Court was hearing two PILs filed in 2007 by veteran journalist B.G. Verghese and poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar, seeking a direction for a probe by an independent agency or the CBI, so the “truth [about the encounters] may come out”. Verghese passed away on December 30, 2014.

The bench, which was on Wednesday hearing a plea to make the Justice Bedi Committee’s report public, did not accept the Gujarat government’s contention that the final report not be given to Akhtar and Verghese’s counsel as it may prejudice matters against persons it might have named in the report.

The Supreme Court bench, also comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and S.K. Kaul, granted the Gujarat government and the counsel of Akhtar and Verghese four weeks to file their responses to the report submitted by Bedi, who was appointed the chairperson of the committee, which was appointed by the Supreme Court to probe the encounter cases.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had asked Bedi, a former apex court judge, whether he had shared his final report with other members of the panel.

The Supreme Court had asked the monitoring authority to place before it preliminary reports relating to the alleged fake encounters between 2002 and 2006 in Gujarat, purportedly showing a pattern that people from the minority community were targeted as terrorists. These reports were submitted periodically.

 

 

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