India

Final report of panel on Gujarat encounters should be given to parties: SC

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New Delhi: 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 of the petition.

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

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”.

Varghese passed away on December 30, 2014.

The bench, which was Wednesday hearing a plea to make the 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 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 Justice Bedi, who was appointed chairperson of the apex court appointed committee that had probed the encounter cases.

Earlier, the apex court had asked the former apex court judge if he had shared his final report with other members of the panel.

The apex 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 were submitted periodically.

PTI

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