New Delhi, Mar 2: The Supreme Court on Friday appointed its former judge, Justice H.S. Bedi as the chairman of the monitoring authority looking into the case of 22 alleged fake encounter killings in Gujarat between 2002 and 2006.
The court said it wanted the supervision and monitoring of the investigation in the cases should be done by “someone whose integrity is completely beyond any question.”
“We, accordingly, deem it fit to request Justice Bedi to head and monitor the investigation of the cases of alleged fake encounter enumerated in the writ petitions,” a bench comprising justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai said.
It also rejected the government's plea seeking extension of time till March 12 to sort out the issue of appointment of chairman.
It also asked the Gujarat government to extend full facility and cooperation to Justice Bedi “to enable him to make meaningful, effective investigation into the cases”.
The bench said that the monitoring authority will submit its interim report within three months.
It also clarified that all its directions contained in its January 25 order will remain operative and shall apply.
The bench expressed its displeasure that after another former apex court judge Justice M.B. Shah quit as the chairman of the monitoring authority, the Gujarat government appointed former Bombay High Court Chief Justice K.R. Vayas to the post without consultation it.
The Supreme Court bench had on January 25 asked the monitoring authority to place before it a preliminary report within three months on the killings in alleged fake encounters between 2002 and 2006 in Gujarat, purportedly showing a pattern that people from the minority community were targeted as terrorists.
The bench was hearing two PILs filed by veteran journalist B.G. Verghese and poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar, who had sought a direction for a probe by an independent agency or the CBI so that the “truth may come out.”