Gujarat fake encounter: Justice Bedi Committee recommends action against police officers guilty of custodial killings

New Delhi: Justice (Retd) HS Bedi Monitoring Committee has recommended action against nine police officers who were found to be involved in three custodial killings in alleged fake encounters, which took place between 2002 and 2006 in Gujarat.

The Committee in its final 229-page report submitted to the Supreme Court has said that out of 17 cases it has found “prima facie evidence of custodial killings” in three matters and suggested action against the police officers involved in these killings.

The Committee has also recommended compensation to the families of the deceased.

The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on January 9 received the report submitted by the head of the inquiry committee that looked into alleged fake encounter cases in Gujarat and asked him to share it with the petitioners who had sought the investigation.

The bench ordered that the report is provided to the petitioners and it would deal later on whether to accept or reject the final report of the Justice Bedi Committee.

The bench did not accept Gujarat government’s request opposing to provide the final report to the petitioners as it may prejudice matters against persons it might have named in the report.

The apex court is hearing two PILs filed in 2007 by veteran journalist BG Verghese (who passed away in 2014) and poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar, who had sought a probe by an independent agency or the CBI so the truth may come out.

The top court on March 2, 2012, appointed former Justice HS Bedi the chairman of the Monitoring Committee, investigating 22 such cases that took place between 2002 and 2006 in Gujarat. Bedi had probed the role of the Special Task Force (STF) into these killings and submitted the report in a sealed cover on February 26, 2018.