Sohrabuddin Sheikh case: Bombay HC to decide on discharge of senior Gujarat, Rajasthan police officials tomorrow
Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kausar Bi and their aide Tulsiram Prajapati were allegedly killed in fake encounters by the police.
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court is likely to pronounce on Monday its verdict on whether or not some senior Gujarat and Rajasthan police officers deserve to be discharged in the 2005-2006 encounter case of suspected gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife and their aide.
Sheikh, his wife Kausar Bi and their aide Tulsiram Prajapati were killed in "fake" encounters by the police of the two states in 2005-2006, according to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
On 16 July, a single bench of the high court, presided over by Justice AM Badar, had reserved the verdict on five revision applications challenging the discharge granted in the case by a trial court to Gujarat IPS officer Rajkumar Pandian, former Gujarat ATS chief DG Vanzara, Gujarat police officer NK Amin, Rajasthan cadre IPS officer Dinesh MN and Rajasthan police constable Dalpat Singh Rathod.
Justice Badar had been conducting hearings on a daily basis since 4 July on the five revision pleas filed by Sohrabuddin Sheikh's brother Rubabuddin Sheikh and the CBI.
Rubabuddin Sheikh had filed three of these five pleas, challenging the discharge granted in the case by the trial court to Pandian, Dinesh and Vanzara.
The remaining two pleas were filed by the CBI challenging the discharge granted to Amin and Rathod.
The CBI had booked these five officials, along with 33 other people, as accused in the "fake" encounters of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Kausar Bi in November 2005 and Prajapati in December 2006.
The Gujarat Police had then claimed Sohrabuddin Sheikh had terror links.
Between 2014 and 2017, a special court in Mumbai, where the case was shifted from Gujarat following a Supreme Court order, discharged 15 of these 38 accused.
Those discharged included 14 police officials and BJP president Amit Shah.
As per the CBI chargesheet, Sohrabuddin Sheikh, a suspected gangster based in Gujarat, and Kausar Bi were abducted by officers of the Gujarat ATS and the Rajasthan Police from near Hyderabad, and killed in a fake encounter in November 2005.
Prajapati, an eyewitness to these killings, was shot dead in another staged encounter in December 2006 by some Rajasthan Police officials at the behest of the Gujarat and Rajasthan officers, who had been involved in the killing of the husband-wife duo, the CBI had claimed.
Justice Badar also conducted a separate hearing on a discharge plea filed by Gujarat IPS officer Vipul Aggarwal.
A co-accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case, Aggarwal's discharge plea was rejected by the trial court last year.
He then approached the high court challenging the order, seeking parity with the others who have been discharged.
The verdict in Aggarwal's case is also likely to be pronounced on Monday.
The encounter cases of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Kausar Bi, and Prajapati were clubbed together in 2013 after the apex curt directed that the trial be shifted to Mumbai from Gujarat.
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