January 25th, 2012
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SC demands probe into Gujarat fake encounter case

Fake-encounter-gujaratNew Delhi:The Supreme Court has demanded has asked chairman of the monitoring committee, Justice (retd) M B Shah, to probe into the 22 cases of alleged fake encounters in Gujarat. The apex court directed the one-man committee of Justice Shah to decide whether the cases of fake encounters require independent investigation or not. Justice Shah has been empowered to make a team of police officers of his choice. The officers may be from or outside Gujarat. The panel will probe encounters between 2003 and 2006. Justice Shah has been asked to submit his report in three months time.

The Bench said it would be open for the chairman of the monitoring authority to constitute an independent team either with officers from Gujarat Special Task Force (STF) or from outside.The court said it would also be open for the chairman of the monitoring authority to call for earlier police and case records or records from human rights bodies in respect of any encounter death, which has been mentioned in the writ petitions.

The Supreme Court is hearing a bunch of petitions against fake encounters in Gujarat between 2002 and 2006. These petitions allege that there was a pattern to the encounters, with people from the minority community being the target. While one petition filed by journalist B G Verghese seeks an inquiry into 22 alleged fake encounter killings in Gujarat between 2003 and 2006, another filed by lyricist Javed Akhtar seeks a probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the alleged fake encounters in Gujarat claiming innocent people, particularly from the minority community, were targeted as terrorists.


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