Gujarat fake encounter: Justice Bedi panel indicts 9 officers for custodial killings

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First Published 12, Jan 2019, 12:04 PM IST
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Gujarat fake encounter Justice Bedi panel indicts 9 officers custodial killings
Highlights

In the final report submitted to the Supreme Court, the Justice Bedi committee said that out of 17 cases it has found 'prima facie evidence of custodial killings' in three matters and suggested action against the police officers involved in these killings

New Delhi: The Supreme Court appointed Justice HS Bedi committee has given a clean chit to the then Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government in the 2002-2006 fake encounter case.

No evidence of the involvement of the state government or any holder of a high-profile public office has been found during the investigation, the committee said.

In the final report submitted to the apex court, the committee said that out of 17 cases it has found "prima facie evidence of custodial killings" in three matters and suggested action against the police officers involved in these killings. The three have been identified as Sameer Khan, Kasam Jafar and Haji Haji Ismail.

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

The apex court is hearing two PILs filed in 2007 by veteran journalist BG Verghese (who passed away in 2014) and Akhtar, who had sought a probe by an independent agency or the CBI so the truth may come out.

Solicitor general Tushar Mehta, appearing on behalf of the Gujarat government, had objected to it, claiming that lawyer Prashant Bhushan would make it a public affair. Following this, the court had asked the Gujarat government and the petitioners to keep their stand within four weeks, after which the top court will decide whether the report should be submitted to the petitioners or not.

The apex court on March 2, 2012, appointed former Justice Bedi as the chairman of the Monitoring Committee, investigating 22 such cases that took place between 2002 and 2006 in Gujarat. Justice Bedi had probed the role of the Special Task Force into these killings and submitted the report in a sealed cover on February 26, 2018.

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