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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Custodial death case: CBI court dismisses plea of ex-Himachal IGP Zaidi

The petitioner, Zahur Haider Zaidi, who is lodged in the Chandigarh Model Jail of Burail, has contended through his counsel that earlier also the applicant had been allowed twice to join the inquiry on the application of the jail officials.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
June 15, 2021 5:52:57 am
The CBI counsel, P K Dogra, in reply contended that earlier a similar application of the jail officials was declined by the court on February 16, 2021, and the applicant had been allowed to join the proceedings by way of video conferencing.

The special CBI court of Chandigarh has dismissed the application of Zahur Haider Zaidi, seeking permission to appear personally before the inquiry officer in Shimla in a departmental inquiry being conducted against him.

The petitioner, Zahur Haider Zaidi, who is lodged in the Chandigarh Model Jail of Burail, has contended through his counsel that earlier also the applicant had been allowed twice to join the inquiry on the application of the jail officials. His presence is very much required in the said inquiry and now again he be granted permission to join the inquiry proceedings in judicial custody.

The CBI counsel, P K Dogra, in reply contended that earlier a similar application of the jail officials was declined by the court on February 16, 2021, and the applicant had been allowed to join the proceedings by way of video conferencing. The applicant is facing serious charges and his presence in the inquiry personally is not required. It is not the contention of the accused that the inquiry officer has refused to conduct the inquiry through video conferencing.

After hearing the matter, the CBI court of Additional and District Sessions Judge Jagjit Singh held that present application has been filed by the applicant mentioning thereby that he be granted permission to appear personally in judicial custody before the inquiry officer in a departmental inquiry being conducted against the present applicant. When the application was filed, it was the contention of the applicant that the inquiry was fixed for May 21, 2021. “The date of said inquiry already stands lapsed and there is nothing by way of any document on record as to whether the inquiry was even fixed for May 21, 2021 or when it is fixed for in future. There is no application from the inquiry officer that he requires the presence of the applicant/accused in the inquiry or whether any such inquiry is under process or not or that the presence of the applicant is necessary in the said inquiry,” the CBI judge observed.

“…he can watch the inquiry proceedings and even attend the same through video conferencing and there is presently no requirement of the applicant/accused to physically go and attend the inquiry proceedings. It is, however, observed that as yet there is nothing on record from any inquiry officer about the inquiry or the proceedings or the necessity of the applicant/accused in the said inquiry…”, read the court order while dismissing the plea of Zaidi.

Nine accused, including former Himachal IGP Zaidi, Superintendent of Police D W Negi, DSP Theog Manoj Joshi, former Kotkhai Station House Officer (SHO) Rajinder Singh, ASI Deep Chand, who was investigating officer of the case, Head Constables Surat Singh, Mohan Lal and Rafee Mohammad, and Constable Ranjit Steta are facing charges of custodial death of Suraj Singh at Kotkhai, Himachal Pradesh. The case had been transferred to the Chandigarh CBI court by the Supreme Court.

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