Gujarat Fake Encounters: SC Refuses to Keep Justice Bedi’s Report Confidential


Supreme Court of India.

Caravan News

NEW DELHI  — Gujarat government suffered a blow on Wednesday as the Supreme Court has directed that a copy of the Justice H.S. Bedi committee report on eight cases of fake shootouts in Gujarat be furnished to the petitioner, noted lyricist Javed Akhtar, and refused to keep it confidential.

The final report by (retd.) Justice H. S. Bedi is prepared on an examination of the investigation into the instances of fake encounters in the state between 2002-2006.

The court said a copy of the report is also to be given to the Gujarat government.

The top 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 may come out”.

The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi was satisfied that in view of the earlier orders of the apex court, Justice Bedi, as the head of the court-appointed Monitoring Committee, was entitled to submit the report.

Justice Bedi has reappreciated the evidence relating to eight shootouts that took place in Gujarat between 2002 and 2006.

The bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao, Justice Sanjay Krishan Kaul led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi rejected the Gujarat government’s plea that the report be kept confidential and away from the media gaze. 

Justice Bedi, in response to a query from the court, said that in terms of the two orders of the top court in January and February 2012, he alone as the Chairman of the monitoring committee was to submit the report, reports IANS. 

Justice Bedi assured that the final report had come to be prepared after deliberations among the members of the Committee and that it was the express intention of the top court that all reports be submitted under the signature of the Chairman

Accepting this response, Chief Justice Gogoi asked: “If Justice Bedi is authorised to give the report, which we think he is, how can a state can object it?”

At the last hearing, the Gujarat government had objected to the report, saying Justice Bedi has submitted it without consulting the members of the monitoring committee.

It also opposed on Wednesday’s hearing, saying that sharing of the report with the petitioners would cause prejudice, according to report. 

Taking exception to the Gujarat government’s stand, the court asked: “First you let the committee to work for six months, why do you now bring the case of prejudice?” 

Making it clear that it was not treating the report as final, the bench said that the report would become effective only after “we accept it”. 

(With inputs from IANS)


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