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Why selective public interest to probe encounters only in Gujarat, State govt to SC

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      19 January, 2024 10:54 AM      0 Comments
Why selective public interest to probe encounters only in Gujarat State govt to SC

NEW DELHI: The Gujarat government on Thursday raised questions before the Supreme Court as to why a selective public interest was shown in seeking probe into the alleged fake encounters in the state from 2002 to 2006, as such incidents also took place in other states.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, represnting the state government, contended before a bench of Justices B R Gavai and Sandeep Mehta, that encounters have taken place in other states also.

Mehta said that the petitioners say that they want investigation into a few encounters during a particular period in the state of Gujarat.

Why this selective public interest? They have to answer that, Mehta submitted before the bench.

Earlier, the state government had questioned the locus standi of the petitioners.

Two separate pleas were filed in 2007 by senior journalist BG Verghese, who died in 2014, and lyricist Javed Akhtar and Shabnam Hashmi, seeking a probe into the alleged fake encounters.

A monitoring authority headed by former top court judge Justice H S Bedi, were appointed by the top court. The panel probed 17 alleged fake encounter cases in Gujarat from 2002 to 2006.

Arguing for a petitioner, advocate Prashant Bhushan said that the committee had already filed its report and sought prosecution of people who have been identified in the report.

He said the committee has come to a prima facie conclusion in three cases.

In 2019, the committee had submitted its report in a sealed cover. The committee had recommended prosecution of police officials in three out of the 17 cases it probed.

The court posted the matter for further hearing after two weeks.

Justice Bedi committee, in its final report filed in the apex court, had said three persons Sameer Khan, Kasam Jafar and Haji Ismail were prima facie killed in fake encounters by police.

In January, 2019, a bench led by then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had rejected the Gujarat governments plea to maintain confidentiality of the final report of the committee and ordered that it be handed over to the petitioners.



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