SC to see whether any direction required on report of Justice Bedi panel, Legal News, ET LegalWorld – Legal Firms

New Delhi, The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it needs to see whether any further directions are required to be issued on a report filed by Justice HS Bedi Committee, which had investigated several cases of alleged fake encounters in Gujarat from 2002 to 2006. A bench of justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay S Oka, which was hearing a PIL filed by late senior journalist BG Verghese and lyricist Javed Akhtar, seeking probe into the alleged fake encounters was told by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that nothing survives in the matter as the report has been submitted.

The bench said, “The only thing is whether any directions are required to be passed with respect to the report…we will list the matter in January, 2023 to see if any further directions are to be issued with regard to the report.”

Mehta said both the petitioners were not from Gujarat and it needs to be seen whether in such case a writ petition can be filed.

The bench said now a lot of water has flown down under and this question would have arisen in the beginning.

Mehta said in the writ petition, the petitioners have targeted a particular state and for alleged fake encounters during the tenure of a particular political party.

“It needs to be examined why only one particular state was selected and that too during the particular period by the petitioners. I am only saying ‘can the public interest be selective’,” he said.

The bench noted that Verghese is no more and therefore matter should be left at that.

The report of the Bedi Committee which was submitted in 2019 recommended prosecution of police officials in three out of the 17 cases probed by it.

In its final report filed in the apex court, Justice Bedi has said three persons — Sameer Khan, Kasam Jafar and Haji Haji Ismail — were prime facie killed in fake encounters by Gujarat Police officials.

The committee has indicted a total of nine police officials, including three inspector rank officers.

It has, however, not recommended prosecution of any IPS officer in these cases.

The court had appointed Justice Bedi, ex-Supreme Court judge, as chairman of the monitoring committee probing 17 encounter cases from 2002 to 2006 in Gujarat and the panel had submitted its report to the top court in a sealed cover in February last year.

On January 9, 2019, a bench headed by the then Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had rejected the Gujarat government’s plea to maintain confidentiality of the final report of the committee and ordered that it be given to petitioners, including poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar.

The panel had also dealt with 14 other cases which relates to alleged fake encounter killings of — Mithu Umar Dafer, Anil Bipin Misra, Mahesh, Rajeshwar, Kashyap Harpalsingh Dhaka, Salim Gagji Miyana, Jala Popat Devipujak, Rafiksha, Bheema Maanda Mer, Jogindrasinh Khatansing, Ganesh Khunte, Mahendra Jadav, Subhash Bhaskar Nayyar and Sanjay. PTI MNL ZMN

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