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SC to hear petition on 22 extra-judicial killings when Modi was Gujarat Chief Minister

Justice Bedi committee had ooked into whether the encounters showed a pattern that people from the minority community were targeted as terrorists

Tuesday December 4, 2018 0:23 AM, ummid.com News Network

Gujarat Fake Encounter

New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India has decided to hear a petition regarding 22 alleged fake encounters that took place in Gujarat when Narendra Modi was Chief Minister.

“Javed Akhtar and I had filed an application in the Supreme Court through advocate Prashant Bhushan in April and demanded a copy of Justice HS Bedi report", Human Rights activist Shabnam Hashmi said while talking to the National Herald.

The committee headed by Justice Bedi—who had replaced Justice MB Shah—to probe alleged fake encounters, which took place in Gujarat between 2002 and 2007 when Narendra Modi was Chief Minister, was appointed in 2012. The committee submitted its report to the Supreme Court in a sealed cover in March this year.

The committee had looked into whether the encounters, including Ishrat Jahan and Sohrabuddin Sheikh cases, showed a pattern that people from the minority community were targeted as terrorists.

Pertinently, a writ petition was filed by poet-lyricist Javed Akhtar, late journalist BG Verghese and activist Shabnam Hashmi in 2007, seeking a direction for a probe by an independent agency or CBI so that the "truth may come out". The pleas had claimed that innocent people, particularly from Muslim community, were being targeted as terrorists in Gujarat between 2002 and 2007.

On Monday, when Solicitor General Tushar Mehta intervened, arguing that the Justice Bedi report on the fake encounters must not be made public, the court asked him to file an affidavit.

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi also refused to accede to Mehta’s request that the matter should be posted following the Christmas break of the Supreme Court, and listed the matter for December 12.

The petition comes at a time when the Supreme Court of India is already hearing a plea by Zakia Jafri challenging the acquittal of Narendra Modi in 2002 Gujarat riots. The next hearing on Jafri's petition is in January 2019.

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