Fake encounters: SC grants time to Gujarat govt

The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Gujarat government to respond to the final report filed by a panel headed by former top court judge, Justice H S Bedi, on 24 alleged fake encounters that took place between 2002 and 2006, the tenure of Narendra Modi as chief minister of the state.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph took on record a plea by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that he would like to file an affidavit in the matter before the court passed any order.

“The said affidavit may be filed within seven days,” the bench said, putting the matter for consideration on December 12.

Mehta also opposed a plea by advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing veteran journalist B G Verghese (now no more) and script-writer and poet Javed Akhtar, for providing him a copy of the Bedi monitoring panel's report. 

The monitoring authority filed its report in a sealed cover on February 26, 2018.

Justice Bedi was appointed as the Chairman of the already functioning monitoring committee set up by the state government on March 2, 2012.

Minorities targeted

The top court had earlier 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 of minority community being targeted as terrorists.

Verghese and Akhtar, through their PIL in 2007, sought a direction for a probe by an independent agency or the CBI so that the "truth may come out". Verghese passed away on December 30, 2014.

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