Criminal justice system can't be unidirectional exercise, veered exclusively to the offender's benefit: SC
The Supreme Court on Friday granted bail to former Himachal Pradesh Inspector General of Police (IGP) Zahur Haider Zaidi, an accused in the case related to the custodial death of a man who was among those arrested on charge of gang-raping a minor school girl in Kotkhai in Shimla district in 2017.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, while granting bail to Zaidi, said that it would later deal with the aspect of transferring the trial to Delhi from a court in Himachal Pradesh.
The apex court had in November last year sought responses from Zaidi, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Theog) Manoj Joshi and six other Himachal Pradesh policemen as to why the trial against them not be transferred to a Delhi court from Shimla.
The CBI had earlier told the court that though the charge sheet has been filed, the trial in the case "has not seen the light of the day" and hence, the case be transferred to a Delhi court for expeditious disposal.
The probe agency had said that Zaidi, being the former IGP, may influence the witnesses in the case and, moreover, other accused are also policemen.
The top court had suggested that let the trial continue in a Shimla court and in the meantime, it would grant bail to the former IGP and restrain him from going to Himachal Pradesh except for attending the court proceedings there.
Earlier, it had granted interim bail for a week to Zaidi, who had moved the apex court against the Himachal Pradesh High Court order refusing to grant him bail in the case.
Zaidi had sought interim bail on the grounds that he had to attend the post-death rituals (Chhehalum) of his mother from November 6 to 8, 2018 in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
The High Court had dismissed Zaidi's bail plea, saying it would not be appropriate to release him on bail at this stage as the alleged crime was of serious nature and a detailed investigation was required in the case.
Zaidi and seven others were arrested in the custodial death case of Suraj, who was found dead at the Kotkhai police station on July 18.
The CBI has already filed the charge sheet against the accused.
The post-mortem report had confirmed rape and murder and a case was registered.
Amid a huge public outcry in the state, an SIT headed by Zaidi was constituted by the then Virbhadra Singh-led Congress government.
The SIT arrested six persons, one of whom died in police station, following which the High Court handed over the investigations of both cases to the CBI on July 19.
The CBI had arrested Zaidi, DCP Joshi and the other policemen with regard to the custodial death.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)