SC to hear Gujarat plea against giving out staged shootout reports
The Supreme Court will Aug 25 take up for hearing a plea by the Gujarat government that the status report being filed before it by the Justice H.S.Bedi committee monitoring investigation into 22 staged shootout cases in the state between 2002 to 2007 should not be given to petitioners, columnist B.G.Verghese and lyricist Javed Akhtar.
The staged shootouts are being investigated by a Special Task Force.
While expressing some reservation in revisiting the order passed earlier to give the copies of the status report to the petitioners, a bench of Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai and Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre said that the application would be considered on next Monday.
"We will find it very difficult to agree with you," the court said as Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told it that the petitioner could not supervise the monitoring committee headed by the former apex court judge.
Finding the court reluctant to entertain the plea by Gujarat government, Mehta told the court: "I will try to persuade the court on my plea."
Counsel Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioners, recalled that the order to give the status report by the monitoring committee to the petitioner was passed by a three judge bench then headed by the Chief Justice and including Justice Desai.
The Gujarat government said that giving the report by the monitoring committee on the investigation by Special Task Force was "inappropriate" as "it would mean supervision of Monitoring Comm8ttee headed by the former judge of the Supreme Court by the litigants".
The apex court March 2, 2012, had appointed Justice Bedi as head of a monitoring authority to supervise the investigation into 22 cases of alleged staged shootouts in Gujarat between 2002 and 2007. The order came in the wake of the hearing of a petition by Verghese and Akhtar seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into these cases.
(Posted on 20-08-2014)