The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected the plea filed by BJP led Gujarat government that sought to maintain the confidentiality of the 221-page report of HS Bedi Committee that probed the 24 encounters that happened in Gujarat between the year 2002 to 2006 when Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister in the state. The top Court ordered that it to be given to the petitioner who had kept the ball rolling.
The Petitions were filed by Bollywood famous lyricist Javed Akhtar and BC Verghese. Verghese passed away on December 30, 2014. It was Vergese in the year 2007 who first move to court to seek a court monitor inquiry into 21 alleged encounters in Gujarat between 2002 and 2006. Later, Javed Akhtar also moved to court to with a similar demand.
A three-Judge Bench headed by Ranjan Gogoi slammed Gujarat government for having objections in sharing the copy of the report with the petitioners. Court asserted, “It the Petitioners (Akhtar and Verghese) that has kept the ball revolving and have every right to get the copy of the report. “We are of the view that the copy of the report should be furnished to the petitioners as well as the Gujarat government to file their response,” said the bench
However, The bench, which also comprised Justices L Nageswara Rao and S K Kaul, made clear that it was neither accepting nor rejecting the 221-page report of the committee at this stage.
During the hearing, SC bench racked up the Counsel appeared for Gujarat Government when he asked the bench for the adjournment citing that Solicitor General Tushar Mehta was busy in another court in another case. The bench said, “It is for the Solicitor General to arrange his business. If he has made a choice that he would not appear in the first court of the country, so be it”.
Earlier, the top court had asked Justice Bedi, who had chaired the committee monitoring the probe into the Gujarat fake encounter cases, whether he had shared his final report with other members of the panel.
In September 2006, the apex Court had granted three months to STF to probe the alleged encounters that were happened in the state between 2002 and 2006. STF who had worked under the committee headed by Justice Bedi had said that it had investigated 22 cases out of 24 and 2 cases have remained to be investigated.
Justice Bedi was appointed as Chairman of the already functioning the body leading a probe in all encounter cases on 2012, March 2.