Hearing petitions challenging the discharge of some of the accused in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh alleged fake encounter case of 2005, the Bombay High Court said on Wednesday that it was still unclear about the prosecution’s case, pointing to lack of assistance on the part of the CBI.
“What is the prosecution case about? No one has informed me yet,” said Justice Revati Mohite Dere, adding that the CBI had argued only on the limited points in the applications filed by it against the discharge of Rajasthan police constable Dalpat Singh Rathod and Gujarat police officer N K Amin.
“It is the primary responsibility of a prosecuting agency to place all evidence on record before the court. However, the CBI has argued only on the role of the two officials whose discharge it has challenged,” said the judge.
The court has been hearing revision applications in these cases since February 9. Of these, three applications have been filed by Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubabuddin, challenging the discharge of former Gujarat DIG D G Vanzara and IPS officers Dinesh M N and Rajkumar Pandiyan, along with two applications filed by the CBI challenging the discharge of Rathod and Amin.
While hearing these applications last week, Justice Dere had said she was not getting the assistance which she should be getting in the case. “I want a larger picture placed before me, not just isolated statements,” she had said. She had also questioned the protection being provided by the CBI to the witnesses in the case.
In the almost two weeks since the hearing began, she has been asking CBI to place on record relevant documents related to the case.
Asking the CBI to “at least assist the court by giving all the 164 statements of witnesses”, the judge said it was the duty of the “CBI to submit it before court.”
“This is the primary responsibility of the CBI. It is always for the prosecuting agency to bring all information on record,” said Justice Dere on Wednesday, responding to the lawyer of one of the accused, who said that Rubabuddin’s lawyer should have provided relevant documents to the court.
The court was hearing arguments related to the discharge application of Rajkumar Pandiyan. Rubabuddin’s lawyer, advocate Gautam Tiwari, pointed to statements to show that Pandiyan was accused of “intimidating, threatening certain witnesses and getting them to give false statements relating to Sohrabuddin and Prajapati”.
Pandiyan is alleged to have been a part of the Gujarat ATS team which drove from Ahmedabad to Hyderabad on November 20, 2005, and picked up Sohrabuddin.
Sohrabuddin, an alleged gangster who the Gujarat police claimed had “links with the terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba”, and his wife Kausarbi were allegedly abducted by Gujarat ATS from Hyderabad, on their way to Sangli in Maharashtra, and killed in an alleged fake encounter near Gandhinagar in November 2005.
Sohrabuddin’s alleged aide, Tulsiram Prajapati, was reportedly killed by police officers at Chapri village in Banaskantha district of Gujarat in December 2006.