The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government on a petition alleging that several fake encounters have taken place in the state in the recent past, PTI reported.

The petition was filed by the nonprofit People’s Union for Civil Liberties. Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud sought the state government’s response on the matter within two weeks, ANI reported.

Fifty eight people have been killed in as many as 500 encounters in Uttar Pradesh in recent years, the petitioner’s lawyer Sanjay Parikh told the court. The court, however, refused to make the National Human Rights Commission a party to the proceedings.

Several suspected gangsters have been killed in controversial encounters in the state since the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2017.

In February, the human rights body issued a notice to the state government, accusing “higher-ups” in the state administration of allowing the police to freely misuse their power and “settle scores with people”.

“Creating an atmosphere of fear is not the correct way to deal with crime,” the NHRC had said, months after sending a notice to the state government over Chief Minister Adityanath’s alleged endorsement of encounter killings. Adityanath had said: “We will make life difficult for criminals. They will have only two places to go: either they will be sent to jail, or they will be killed in police encounters.”