SC orders probe into all Gujarat encounters

SC orders probe into all Gujarat encounters

SC orders probe into all Gujarat  encounters

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Justice (retired) M B Shah-headed monitoring authority to look into the complaints alleging fake encounters of people from the minority community in Gujarat between 2002 and 2006.

A bench of justices Aftab Alam and C K Prasad asked the monitoring authority formed in April last year to file a report within three months.

“Having regard to the fact that a monitoring authority has been put in place and a former judge of this court is its chairman, we desire the chairman to look into all instances of the alleged fake encounters mentioned in the two writ petitions. We want the investigation to be thorough so that truth in each case is revealed,” the bench said. The court was hearing two public interest litigations (PILs) filed by veteran journalist B  G Verghese and poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar.

While Verghese wanted an inquiry into the 21 alleged fake encounter killings by the police in Gujarat during the four-year period, Akhtar had sought a probe by a special investigation team (SIT) into the alleged fake encounters in the state, claiming that innocent people, particularly from the Muslim community, were being targeted as terrorists.

The bench said the chairman of the monitoring authority can constitute an independent team either with officers from Gujarat Special Task Force or from outside, apart from calling for records and seeking assistance from the petitioners in connection with the alleged encounters. The monitoring authority was also allowed by the bench to consider the encounter victims’ versions before it prepares its final report.

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