The Bombay High Court Monday asked CBI why it was “not more anxious” to ensure that the case challenging discharge of senior IPS officers and others accused in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh encounter case was heard sooner.
The court’s question came after the CBI sought an adjournment in the case. “The trial began on November 28 last year, so shouldn’t you be more anxious to ensure that the discharge pleas are heard soon? Why are you not more anxious?” Justice Revati Mohite-Dere said.
Justice Dere, while listing the case for daily hearing from February 9, added that no more time or adjournment will be given.
The court was hearing petitions filed by Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubabuddin challenging the discharge of senior IPS officers, including former DIG of Gujarat D G Vanzara, Rajasthan IPS officer Dinesh M N and Gujarat IPS officer Rajkumar Pandian, along with two applications filed by the CBI challenging the discharge of two police officers.
The special CBI court had discharged the IPS officers on the ground that CBI failed to get prior sanction or special permission to prosecute them. Of the 38 accused in the case, 15, including BJP chief Amit Shah, were discharged. While Rubabuddin has challenged discharge of three IPS officers, CBI had challenged the discharge of IPS officer N K Amin and police constable Dalpat Singh Rathod.
A PIL was filed by the Bombay Lawyers’ Association terming the action of CBI not to challenge the December 30, 2014, order of a special CBI court discharging Shah as “illegal, arbitrary and malafide”. The PIL is likely to be heard on February 13. At a previous hearing, Justice Mohite-Dere asked if the mere lack of prior sanction was an adequate ground for discharge of the accused. She had also asked the CBI why it had not challenged the trial court order.
Sohrabuddin who, Gujarat police claimed, had “links with the terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba” and his wife Kausar Bi were allegedly abducted by Gujarat anti-terror squad from Hyderabad and killed in an alleged fake encounter near Gandhinagar in November 2005.