The Bombay High Court on Friday dismissed a plea that questioned the CBI’s decision to not challenge a 2014 trial court order that discharged BJP chief Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh fake encounter case. Stating that the petitioner has “no locus”, the high court today dismissed the public interest litigation.
A division bench of justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre said it was not inclined to grant the reliefs sought in the petition. reports PTI. The petition was filed by a group, Bombay Lawyers Association, questioning the CBI’s decision to not challenge the discharge granted to Amit Shah in the case.
“We are dismissing the petition. We are not inclined to grant any relief…especially when the petitioner is a body which has no locus in the case,” the court said in its judgment.
A special CBI court had discharged Shah in the case in 2014. Shaikh and his wife Kausar Bi were killed in an alleged fake encounter by the Gujarat Police in 2005.
An associate of Shaikh, Tulsi Prajapati, was also killed in a 2006 encounter carried out by the Gujarat and Rajasthan police. Of the 38 people charged by the CBI in the case, 16 accused – including Shah and senior officers of Gujarat and Rajasthan police – were discharged by the trial court and high court.
The association’s counsel Dushyant Dave had argued that the CBI had changed its stand on Shah after the change of government at the Centre in 2014. The petition raised questions over the agency’s decision to file revision applications against the discharge of two other accused in the case, but not challenging Shah’s discharge from the case.
The CBI had opposed the petition and said its decision was a “conscious and reasonable” move. Terming the petition as “politically motivated” and a “publicity stunt”, the agency had sought dismissal of the petition.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for the CBI, had told the court that the investigating agency had studied the trial court’s order granting discharge to Shah as well as various subsequent orders of appellate courts
upholding the same.
Dave had argued that the CBI was roped in by the Supreme Court to probe the killings of Shaikh, his wife Kausar Bi, and Prajapati as the apex court had reposed its trust in the “independent” agency.
On Wednesday, Sohrabuddin Shaikh’s brother Rubabuddin Shaikh had approached a special CBI court through his lawyer, over 15 days after he claimed that the trial in his brother’s case was “not being conducted properly”.