New Delhi: The Modi government was on Friday
questioned by the Supreme Court for not consulting it while
appointing a new chairman of a monitoring authority, looking
into the investigations of 22 encounter killings in Gujarat
The apex court expressed its displeasure over appointment
of former Bombay High Court Chief Justice KR Vayas in place
of former apex court judge, Justice MB Shah, who had quit as
the panel`s head on personal and health grounds.
"We should also have been told about the proposal for the
appointment of new chairman," a bench of justices Aftab Alam
and Ranjana Prakash Desai said.
Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar and Gujarat`s Additional
Advocate General Tushar Mehta told the bench that the
notification for appointment of Justice Vayas, former chairman
of Maharashtra Human Rights Commission was issued yesterday as
Justice Shah has refused to continue as chairman and as per
the January 25 order of the apex court, the monitoring panel
had to file its interim report in a time bound manner.
The bench, however, said the appointment should have been
made by consulting the court as it had passed the order.
"You (Gujarat government) have unnecessarily complicated
the matter. You should have come to us. You should have
waited," the bench observed.
"This concerns our order. You should have brought this
fact to our notice," the bench said.
The court was of the view that since the counsel for
Gujarat government had come to know on Monday that the matter
was listed for today they should have told the court about the
proposal for the appointment of Justice Vayas.
The bench was hearing two PILs filed by veteran journalist
BG Verghese and poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar, who had
sought a direction for a probe by an independent agency or the
CBI so that the "truth may come out".