The Supreme Court refused Tuesday permission to suspended IPS officer Rajkumar Pandian, accused in the alleged fake encounter killings of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauser Bi, to move outside Mumbai and visit Gujarat during bail.
A bench led by Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it was not inclined to modify Pandian’s bail condition at this juncture, particularly when the trial in stayed because of his applications. “On one hand you want variation of the bail order for going to Gujarat, but on the other hand, the trial is stayed by the Bombay High Court on your applications,” said the bench, refusing to relax the bail conditions.
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The bench said it can take up the plea for modification of bail conditions only after the high court decides his pending applications. It asked the trial court to proceed with framing of charges in the case immediately after these applications were decided by the high court. The high court has also stayed the trial proceedings.
Pandian, who was granted bail on March 28 last year, is facing charges in the case in which Sheikh and his wife were allegedly abducted by Gujarat’s Anti-Terrorist Squad from Hyderabad and killed in an alleged fake encounter near Gandhinagar in November 2005.
The apex court, while granting him bail, had directed Pandian not to leave Mumbai where the trial was going on without permission of the concerned authority.
Pandian, along with IPS officer Abhay Chudasma, Rajasthan cadre IPS officer M N Dinesh and some other policemen, were lodged in Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai after the Supreme Court transferred the trial in the case to Mumbai from Ahmedabad.