January 24, 2017 3:31:27 am
Rubabuddin Sheikh, the brother of Sohrabuddin Sheikh who was allegedly killed in a fake encounter in 2005, has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court challenging the discharge of Gujarat IPS officer Rajkumar Pandian by a special CBI court in connection with the alleged fake encounter killing of Sohrabuddin and his aide Tulsiram Prajapati. The High Court is likely to hear the matter on Tuesday.
He has claimed that there is “sufficient evidence on record to establish that Sohrabuddin and his wife Kausar Bi were abducted, kept in wrongful confinement and that the two of them, along with Prajapati, were killed in a fake encounter.” Rubabuddin has argued that “there is nothing on record to show that these steps were taken by Pandian and other accused persons in the discharge of their duties.”
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Sohrabuddin, a gangster, who the Gujarat police claimed had “links with the terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba,” and his wife Kausar Bi were allegedly abducted by Gujarat ATS from Hyderabad on their way to Sangli in Maharashtra. Sohrabuddin was killed in an alleged fake encounter in November 2005 after his wife went missing and was believed to be dead. Prajapati claimed to be an eyewitness to the incident and was killed in December 2006.
The CBI had claimed that the entire encounter had been carried out under Pandian’s supervision, who was part of the team of Gujarat ATS that had picked up Sohrabuddin and his wife.
However, in August 2016, a CBI court discharged Pandian from the case on the technical ground that CBI “did not have sanction to prosecute the officer in the case.”
Rubabuddin has claimed that the CBI court discharged Pandian at a time when the case was still at a “very nascent stage” and the evidence collected and the witness statements collated by the prosecution clearly envisaged the role of Pandian in the murders.”
“Criminal conspiracy, destruction of evidence, and killing someone in cold blood can never be official duty or purported official duty,” states the petition. “The accused is not entitled to such protection under the CrPC that mandates that a sanction be acquired for prosecution,” it further stated.
The court has so far discharged BJP president Amit Shah, Rajasthan Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria, Rajasthan-based businessman Vimal Patni, former Gujarat Police chief P C Pande amongst others in the case.
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