Justice Shah refuses to head Guj encounters probe
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Last Updated: Saturday, February 18, 2012, 22:32
Ahmedabad: Former Supreme Court judge MB Shah, who had been entrusted with the task to look into the alleged fake encounters between 2002 to 2006 in Gujarat, has informed the apex court that he cannot head the inquiry as he is already "overburdened" with other probes.

In a letter written to the apex court, Justice Shah has conveyed his inability to head the inquiry in the alleged fake encounters between 2002 to 2006, saying he is already in two commissions and cannot give time for the third inquiry.

"Yes, I have written a letter to the Supreme Court, informing about my inability to take up the job," Justice Shah told PTI.

"I have said that I am already looking after two Commissions, one of which is inquiring in the mining scam of Karnataka, which is very big one, while another one has been appointed by the Gujarat state government to inquire into allegations of corruption," Justice Shah said.

"That is the main reason why I have shown my inability to take up the inquiry. I have told the court to consider (the name of) some other judge for the inquiry," he said.

In April last year, Gujarat government had appointed Shah to monitor the investigation into the killings after there were allegations that encounters purportedly showed a pattern that people from the minority community were targeted as terrorists.

"Having regard to the fact that a monitoring authority has been put in place and a former judge of this court is its chairman, we desire the chairman (Shah) to look into all instances of the alleged fake encounters mentioned in the two writ petitions," Supreme Court had said last month.

"We want the investigation to be thorough, so that the truth in each case is revealed," a bench comprising justices Aftab Alam and CK Prasad had said and asked Shah to place before it the preliminary report on the issue within three months.

The order was passed by the Supreme Court in response to PILs filed by veteran journalist BG Verghese and poet-lyricist Javed Akhtar seeking a direction for a probe by an independent agency or CBI so that the "truth may come out".

The bench had further said that it will be open for the chairman of the monitoring authority to constitute an independent team either with officer from Gujarat Special Task Force (STF) or from outside "considering the sensitivity of the matter" as some senior officers of the state police force have been accused of killing people in fake encounters.


First Published: Saturday, February 18, 2012, 22:32

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