Modi gets SC rap over probe panel head's appointment

Modi gets SC rap over probe panel head's appointment

The Supreme Court on Friday pulled up the Gujarat government for not taking it into “confidence” on the appointment of a new chairman of the monitoring committee probing into the alleged 22 encounter killings between 2002 and 2006 in the state.

“Why have you not taken us into confidence? You are unnecessarily complicating the matter,” a bench of Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai said.

The court expressed its displeasure after being told that the Narendra Modi-led government has issued a fresh notification just on Thursday appointing former Bombay High Court chief justice K R Vayas in place of former apex court judge, Justice M B Shah.

Senior counsel Ranjit Kumar, appearing for Gujarat government tried to pacify the court by telling that they were acting on the direction to complete investigation in time-bound three months.

“This concerns our order. You should have brought this fact to our notice,” the court said.
The court was also irked after it came to know that the counsel for Gujarat government was aware on February 20 that the matter would come up for hearing on Friday and yet they went for the appointment of Justice Vayas.

It asked Kumar as well as Additional Advocate General of the Gujarat government Tushar Mehta to come out with the names of judges acceptable to the petitioners. The Bench posted the matter for further hearing for February 27.

The Bench was hearing two PILs filed by veteran journalist B G Verghese and poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar seeking a direction for a probe by an independent agency or CBI into the killings of the youth allegedly in fake encounters.