The Supreme Court Wednesday asked Justice (retired) H S Bedi, who headed the committee which monitored the Special Task Force (STF) that inquired into police encounters in Gujarat between 2002 and 2007, to apprise whether he had consulted other members of the committee before submitting his final report to the court.
“Having perused the interim reports and the eleventh (final) report submitted on 26.2.2018, and having noticed the tenor thereof, we are of the view that at this stage, we should request Justice Bedi to inform the court as to whether the final report submitted on 26.2.2018 was shared with other members of the Monitoring Authority and whether Justice Bedi as the Chairman of the Monitoring Authority, appointed by this court by its previous orders, considers it necessary to take the views of the other members of the Monitoring Authority if the 11th (final) report has been submitted unilaterally by the learned Judge,” a bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph said.
The direction came following objections raised by Gujarat government that Justice Bedi had acted “unilaterally”.
The court also requested Justice Bedi “to communicate his views as expeditiously as possible” to enable it to take up the matter “on reopening of the Court after the winter break, on 9.1.2019”.
Acting on the petitions filed by late journalist BG Verghese and lyricist Javed Akhtar, the apex court had appointed Justice Bedi to head the committee in 2012.
The petitions filed in 2007 had sought an inquiry into 22 alleged fake encounters in the state when Narendra Modi was chief minister.
Appearing for the petitioners, Advocate Prashant Bhushan had demanded that a copy of the final report be given to him.
Opposing this, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the Gujarat government, said Justice Bedi has submitted the final report “without taking views of the other members of the Monitoring Authority in contradistinction to the practice followed while submitting the earlier interim reports”.
Mehta also said he had been contending in his affidavits that the petition was not a bonafide one. The CJI, however, said the court did not want to get into that.