February 23, 2021 3:35:38 am
A special CBI court that discharged two former police officers, Tarun Barot and Chhatrasinh Manubha Chudasama, accused in the extra judicial killing of Sadiq Jamal Mehtar in 2003, ruled that “there is no ground for presuming” that the two accused cops “have committed an offence under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 341, 342 (wrongful restraint), 364, 365 (kidnapping and abduction), 302 (murder) and 114 (abetment) of IPC.”
The court of special CBI judge Bharat Ambalal Dave did not look into the aspect of whether government sanction to prosecute its officers was required, under Section 197 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), “as it is equally applicable to all remaining accused and it is not required to be decided at this stage.”
Instead the discharge applications of Chudasama and Barot were considered on the basis of the record of the case where the court found insufficient ground to prosecute them.
Barot was a police inspector with the crime branch and Chudasama was a police constable, at the time. Sadiq (28), was killed on the night of January 12-13, 2003, at Naroda near Galaxy cinema, after an intelligence input forwarded by the Gujarat Police linked him to Salim Chiplun, an aide of gangsters Anees Ibrahim (Dawood’s brother) and Chhota Shakeel.
The alert said the “Dubai-based” Sadiq had been sent by the Lashkar-e-Toiba to kill then Deputy PM L K Advani, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and VHP leader Pravin Togadia. Sadiq was apprehended in Mumbai in December 2002. On January 2, 2003, according to the CBI, Gujarat police took his custody and brought him to Ahmedabad, kept in illegal confinement and killed.
On December 2012, CBI had filed the first chargesheet against eight Gujarat policemen – Barot, the late J G Parmar (then police inspector who will be abated), I A Saiyed (then police inspector), K M Vaghela (retired DSP), R L Mavani (inspector), G H Gohil (then police subinspector), and constables Ajaypalsingh Siyaram Yadav and Chhatrasinh Manubha Chudasama. Of these, three now remain to be discharged.
The order made public on Monday held, “A plain reading of all the documents of this case show that there is nothing on record to support allegations of involvement of these two applicants… None has said so and nothing is on physical record to show that they have gone to Mumbai to take custody of Sadiq…”
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