After rejecting the Gujarat government’s appointee to monitor the probe into 22 alleged staged shoot-out cases, the Supreme Court Monday suggested the name of a former apex court judge to head the committee.
However, a bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai adjourned the matter till Friday after Gujarat’s Additional Advocate General Tushar Mehta sought time to get instruction from the state government.
As court adjourned the hearing, it asked media not to make public the name of the judge suggested by it to head the committee as it might be embarrassing to him.
“This is not part of the order. Don’t mention his name. Don’t embarrass the judge,” the court told media persons present in the court room.
The need for the new chairman of the monitoring committee arose after former apex court Justice M.B. Shah declined the Gujarat government’s offer to head it.
The apex court Feb 24 shot down the Gujarat government’s decision to appoint Justice (retd.) K.R. Vyas to head the monitoring authority after Justice Shah’s refusal.
As Mehta sought to point out that the entire mechanism of the monitoring committee headed by Justice Shah was that of the state government, the court said it had agreed to the monitoring committee mechanism because one of its former judges was to head it.
Having said so, the court made it clear that it would not let the state government to disturb the essential structure of the monitoring mechanism that will be headed by the retired judge of the apex court.
As court adjourned the hearing, it told Mehta that he had been told what the court had in its mind, thereby indicating that state had to act within it. “What we had in our mind we have told you,” the court told him.
The court’s remark came while hearing the petitions by well-known columnist B.G. Verghese and noted poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar who sought a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the cases of alleged staged shoot-outs in Gujarat, in which 22 people were killed between 2002 to 2006.