Press Trust of india

SC hears petitions on ‘fake’ encounter killings in Gujarat during 2002-06

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New Delhi:  The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard the matter related to alleged fake encounter cases in Gujarat from 2002 to 2006 for whose monitoring it had set up a committee under former apex court judge H S Bedi.

Justice Bedi was appointed as the chairman of the monitoring committee probing 17 alleged fake encounter cases from 2002 to 2006 and had submitted a report to the top court in a sealed cover.

The committee, which submitted its report in 2019,  recommended prosecution of police officials in three out of the 17 cases it probed.

The matter came up for hearing on Wednesday before a bench comprising Justices S K Kaul, A S Oka and J B Pardiwala.

The bench recalled that in its November 9, 2022 order in the matter, it had observed that the limited contours which have now to be examined involved whether any directions were required to be issued pursuant to the report of the Justice Bedi committee.

The bench, which posted the matter for resumed hearing in March, observed that upon hearing the parties, it had emerged that “ultimately the issue now revolves around three encounters”.

The top court was hearing the pleas filed in 2007 by senior journalist BG Verghese and lyricist Javed Akhtar seeking a probe into the alleged fake encounters. Verghese passed away in 2014.

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

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

It, however, did not recommend prosecution of any IPS officer.

On January 9, 2019, a bench headed by 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.

The panel had also dealt with 14 other cases which related 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.

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