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Sohrabuddin case: CBI told to clear stand on 3 review pleas

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

The today directed the CBI to clear its stand on the review petitions filed by Rubabuddin Shaikh against the discharge of three serving and retired IPS officers in the encounter case of

Justice A M asked the (CBI) to clarify whether or not these officers, Rajkumar Pandian, M N and D G Vanzara, should have faced trial in light of the evidence presented against them by the probe agency in its charge sheet in the 13-year-old case.

Rubabuddin Shaikh is the brother of Sohrabuddin Shaikh, a gangster with alleged terror links, who along with his wife Kausar Bi, was killed in a suspected fake encounter by the Police in November 2005.

Their was killed in another alleged fake encounter by the and Police in December 2006. All three cases have been clubbed.

Justice is looking into five review pleas, three filed by Rubabuddin Shaikh and two by the CBI, challenging the discharge granted to some Gujarat and police officers by the trial court.

Rubabuddin Shaikh has challenged the discharge of Pandian and (from the Police and still serving) and Vanzara, a who has retired.

The CBI has challenged the discharge of Gujarat IPS N K Amin (now retired) and Rajasthan Police

Justice gave the directions to the CBI today before he began hearing the arguments against Dinesh's discharge.

Before Rubabuddin Shaikh's could begin the arguments, Justice Badar asked whether the CBI had something to say in the case of Pandian since both Tiwari and Pandian's had concluded their respective arguments in his case last week.

The CBI, however, replied in the negative, saying it was concerned with just two review pleas that it had filed before the court.

At this, Justice Badar remarked that considering that the central agency represented the prosecution in the case, it must make arguments on all the pleas.

"We are dealing with the killings of three persons (Sohrabuddin Shaikh, his wife and Prajapati) here.

"You will have to make your stand clear on whether or not these officers should have faced trial considering the evidence in your charge sheet," the maintained.

Justice Badar is conducting daily hearings on all the five pleas.

Today, Rubabuddin's Tiwari opposed the discharge of Dinesh, who was the of police, Udaipur, at the time of the alleged fake encounters.

He argued that played an instrumental role in helping execute the conspiracy to kill and the others.

Tiwari accused Dinesh of selecting his aides to be part of the escort police team that was to accompany Prajapati from to Ahmedabad for a court hearing, and also on the return journey to ensure that he could be eliminated in a pre- planned encounter enroute.

Tiwari also claimed Dinesh had falsely implicated one of Prajapati's aides, Azam Khan, in a false case of vehicle theft.

"Khan was to be taken to Ahmedabad, along with Prajapati, in the train for the same case hearing. However, Dinesh MN ensured that Khan was taken into custody just a day before Prajapati's encounter to ensure that the two were separated," he said.

Khan was subsequently acquitted of all charges in the vehicle theft case by a local court in Rajasthan.

Incidentally, Khan, now a prosecution witness in the case, had sent a letter to the trial court last month stating that while he wanted to depose, he feared for his life.

Khan lives in at present.

The CBI's counsel, Additional Anil Singh, told Justice Badar today the probe agency had written to the Police to provide adequate security for Khan.

Of the 38 people named by the CBI as accused, 15, including Vanzara, Pandian, Dinesh and Amit Shah, were discharged by the in between August 2016 and September 2017.

The encounter case was transferred to from Gujarat in 2012 to ensure a fair trial.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, July 09 2018. 19:30 IST