The Supreme Court on Friday granted regular bail to suspended police inspector V A Rathod in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.
Rathod is the first accused policeman to get bail in the case after the Central Bureau of Investigation took over the probe under the directions of the apex court.
Rathods lawyer Punit Juneja said a division bench of SC comprising Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Desai granted bail to his client since the CBI,which proposed to discharge him from the case,had no objection.
Interestingly,Rathods bail petition was opposed by suspended IPS officer and one of the prime accused in the case,D G Vanzara. The court,however,questioned his locus standi in objecting to the bail petition and turned it down,Juneja said.
Rathod was initially a witness to the case. However,the Gujarat High Court had made him an accused following a petition from suspended deputy superintendent of police Narendra Amin,who is himself an accused in the case.
In its chargesheet,the CBI had stated that Rathod and two others were witnesses to the case and that it proposed to discharge them from the case.
Following this,Rathod had moved a regular bail petition,which was rejected by the Gujarat High Court.
The apex court,however,has set aside the HC order while granting Rathod a regular bail.