Sohrabuddin Shaikh encounter case: Won't oppose Rajkumar Pandian's discharge, CBI tells Bombay HC

Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday told the Bombay High Court that it would not oppose the discharge granted to IPS officer Rajkumar Pandian, a former accused in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh "fake" encounter case, by the trial court. Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Anil Singh, representing the central probe agency, said this while responding to the court's question as to whether the CBI wanted to present its arguments regarding Pandian's discharge.

Rubabuddin Shaikh, Sohrabuddin's brother, has challenged before the court the discharge granted to Pandian, a Rajasthan police officer, and fellow IPS officers DG Vanzara and Dinesh MN of the Gujarat police. The CBI chargesheet had named these three, along with 35 others, as accused in the case related to the alleged fake police encounters of Sohrabuddin, his wife Kausar Bi and aide Tulsiram Prajapati.

 Sohrabuddin Shaikh encounter case: Wont oppose Rajkumar Pandians discharge, CBI tells Bombay HC

File image of Sohrabuddin Sheikh. Ibnlive

Between August 2016 and September 2017, the trial court in Mumbai discharged 15 of the 38 accused. Those discharged included senior police officials and also BJP chief Amit Shah, a former Minister of State (Home) in Gujarat. The CBI has only challenged the discharge of NK Amin of the Gujarat police and constable Dalpat Singh Rathod of the Rajasthan police before the court.

On Monday, Rubabuddin Shaikh's lawyer Gautam Tiwari and Pandian's lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani concluded their arguments before Justice AM Badar. The judge then asked the CBI to make its stand clear on Pandian's discharge and subsequently, also on the discharge of Vanzara and Dinesh MN. The ASG on Tuesday said that as the CBI had not challenged Pandian's discharge, it did not wish to make any arguments in his case.

"We do not have any comments since we are concerned only with the two revision applications we have filed in the case of Amin and Rathod," he said. The bench is now hearing the arguments of the lawyer of Dinesh M N, Raja Thakare.

The CBI had claimed that Dinesh was present when Sohrabuddin, his wife and Prajapati were allegedly abducted by the police from Hyderabad. It had also alleged that Dinesh had planned Prajapati's encounter and it was he who had selected a team of trusted officials to accompany Prajapati from a prison in Udaipur to Ahmedabad for a case hearing. According to the CBI, Prajapati was killed in a fake encounter during the return journey to Udaipur.

Thakare denied the charges against his client and contended that Dinesh was only performing his duty in arranging an escort team for Prajapati.

Sohrabuddin Shaikh, a gangster with alleged terror links, and his wife were killed in an alleged fake encounter by the Gujarat Police in November 2005. Prajapati, who was said to have witnessed the killings, was gunned down in another alleged staged encounter by the Gujarat and Rajasthan police in December, 2006.

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Updated Date: Jul 10, 2018 22:19:15 IST