Twelve days after former Shimla SP Soumya Sambasivan alleged in court that she was being pressurised by the accused in the Kotkhai custodial death case, the CBI has moved a plea in the court of Special Judge Dr Sushil Kumar Garg seeking cancellation accused IG Zahur Haider Zaidi’s bail. The probe agency also demanded that a non-bailable warrant be issued against him. After hearing the plea, the court has issued notice to the accused and his counsel for filing a reply on January 24.
In its application, the CBI argued that that the trial Court (then at Shimla) had “imposed certain conditions on accused Zahur Haider Zaidi while granting him bail”. It said: “One of the condition of granting of bail was that accused will not temper with prosecution evidence and will not influence/intimidate prosecution witnesses so as to dissuade them from submitting/deposing facts/information relating to case to the Court or police officials/IO. It is pertinent to mention here that the accused Zahur Haider Zaidi had also undertaken to abide by the aforesaid condition and furnished personal bond in this regard.”
The CBI further submitted in the application that when IPS officer Soumya Sambasivan, at present IRB Commandant of Mandi, was summoned by the CBI Court as prosecution witness on January 8, 2020, for evidence, she submitted an application before deposing in court and mentioned that the accused, Zahur Haider Zaidi, tried to influence and pressurise her to change her statement in the CBI court.
“…application filed by witness, her statement on oath and accompanied documents clearly reveals that there is clear violation of condition of bail by accused Zahur Haider Zaidi which may adversely affect the trial of the case. He has misused the concession of bail…the testimonies of prosecution witnesses (still to be examined) are very material to the prosecution case and keeping in view conduct of the accused person there is strong apprehension that the accused may certainly try to contact and influence/intimidate them so as to dissuade them from deposing against accused persons in the Ld. Trial Court, which will adversely affect the prosecution case….there is an apprehension that he may tamper with prosecution evidence and may also abscond…,” read the CBI application.
The nine accused in the case include IGP Zaidi, SP D W Negi, DSP, Theog, Manoj Joshi, former Kotkhai 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. The case was transferred to the Chandigarh CBI court by the Supreme Court. The minor girl had gone missing after school hours on July 4. Her body was found in the forest on July 6 and the postmortem report confirmed rape.
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