Justice Bedi Rushes Back To Delhi1 December 2011
Srinagar: Only after two days of his arrival here to probe the mysterious death of National Conference (NC) activist Syed Muhammad Yousuf Shah alias Haji Yousuf, retired Supreme Court judge Justice HS Bedi Thursday packed his bag and baggage and flew back to New Delhi. Justice Bedi had arrived here on September 28 and established his office cum residence at the government Guest House Hari Niwas in the foothills of picturesque Zabarwan forest range. Justice Bedi in a statement yesterday said that he was putting the probe on hold till the disposal of the case by the Supreme Court where it is coming up for hearing on 15th December. Maiden meeting of the one-man Commission of Inquiry (CoI) was held here on September 29 where Justice Bedi, according to sources, was informed by the state’s Law Secretary about the pending PIL relating to the case in the Apex Court. “He (Bedi) left Srinagar this morning and boarded the Jet Airways flight at around 12:45 PM after arrangements were made on his request following some flight cancellations,” disclosed an official. The official told Greater Kashmir that the CoI office has been wound up ‘temporarily’ as no official except his (Justice Bedi’s) Personal Assistant turned up there. According to highly placed sources, Justice Bedi was upset over the lack of coordination by the concerned authorities in the state government with his office. “Justice Bedi didn’t reveal any of his plans this morning. But he has already conveyed his reservations to Law Secretary about the Apex Court hearing on December 15. He is coming back to the Valley very soon,” the official said. The Commission had been provided staff from State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) and was about to get few more employees from Judiciary. But before this move, he ‘adjourned’ his inquiry only to wait for Supreme Court verdict on December 15. On November 30, Justice Bedi issued a one-page statement through State Information Department. The statement read that the proceedings related to Commission would be resumed after December 15. Pertinently, Supreme Court will be hearing the PIL on Haji Yousuf case on December 15. The PIL was filed in the Apex Court by Panthers Party legislator Balwant Singh Mankotia seeking a direction for CBI probe into Yousuf’s death. Earlier, during the meeting between Law Secretary GH Tantry and Justice Bedi, sources said the Chairman of the Commission expressed surprise over the fact that he had not been informed about the petition under the consideration of the Apex Court. The Justice, sources revealed will be meeting some senior functionaries in Union Law Ministry and Registry of Supreme Court before reaching any decision on resuming probe. The one-man Commission of Inquiry is probing the death of Syed Muhammad Yousuf alias Haji Yousuf who died mysteriously after being handed over to Crime Branch by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah at his official residence. A former Supreme Court Judge, Justice Bedi has been given six weeks to complete the probe and submit report to the state government. The Commission was appointed by the state government on November 18. For entire day, nobody responded to the phone call in the office of CoI. Commenting over the issue, Minister of Law Ali Muhammad Sagar threw aside the gossips about his departure to New Deli saying ‘Bedi has accepted the assignment and even asked for staff’. A senior Government functionary revealed that it has to be adjourned as ‘everything wasn’t organized here as Government was waiting for his suggestion’. “Bedi will be back anytime after December 15,” he said. Haji Yousuf allegedly died in custody after being handed-over to the Crime Branch of the state police at CM’s official residence here on September 29. He was summoned to the CM’s official residence in connection with a complaint lodged with Omar by two NC activists Salam Reshi of Kokernag and Muhammad Yousuf Bhat of Ganderbal that he (Haji Yousuf) had taken Rs 1.18 crore from them for ensuring berths in the legislative council and the council of ministers.