Contending that he was not even ‘remotely connected’ with the alleged fake encounter of Lashkar-e-Toiba operative Sohrabuddin Sheikh and, therefore, had no attributed motive of being involved in the alleged conspiracy of doing away with eyewitness Tulsiram Prajapati in the case, a suspended Gujarat IPS officer has moved Bombay High Court, seeking bail.
Gujarat cadre IPS officer Dr Vipul Aggarwal, in his bail plea, said: “The applicant was not even remotely connected with the Sohrabuddin offence, and therefore, had no motive attributed towards him of being a part of any alleged conspiracy to do away with an important witness (Prajapati) in that case. It underlines the lack of substance in the entire case against him.”
Aggarwal, arrested in connection with Parajapati’s case, claimed he was abroad for two months on a United Nations training mission and resumed work back home “barely six days prior to the date of the alleged crime”.
“The only role attributed now to him in the CBI chargesheet, dated September 4, 2012, is of trying to shield the actual perpetrators of the crime. Many of such actual perpetrators of crime, who have been named as co-accused, have been granted regular or anticipatory bail, or are not arrested till date,” claimed the IPS officer.
Aggarwal, in his plea, has argued that though after both cases were transferred by the Supreme Court to the CBI in 2011, he was never in the custody of the investigation agency. “Applicant (Aggarwal) was neither arrested by the CBI nor was he taken into custody by way of any transfer warrant till the completion of investigation by the CBI,” he has said in his plea.
He contended that he was arrested by the Gujarat CID in 2010, and has already spent three years in judicial custody since the matter was transferred to the CBI in 2011.
According to Aggarwal, his presence at the place of the offence is not alleged, and, therefore, there was no question of any allegation of actually committing the offence.
He has also said he has been behind bars for over four years and “it was well settled that detention prior to trial should not be by way of punishment”.
“It is also to be borne in mind that there are over 600 witnesses in five chargesheets that are filed and there is no likelihood of trial being completed in near future,” Aggarwal said while seeking bail.
The High Court had, on September 11, granted bail to suspended Gujarat DIG D G Vanzara, seven years after his arrest in the alleged fake encounter of Sheikh and his wife Kauserbi.