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Sohrabuddin encounter: No appeal against top IPS officers’ discharge, says CBI

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Sohrabuddin encounter: No appeal against top IPS officers’ discharge, says CBI
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Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) informed the Bombay High Court on Monday that it had not filed any appeal challenging the discharge of senior IPS officers in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh encounter case.

The court was hearing an application by Shaikh’s brother challenging the discharge of these officers. The CBI's position was conveyed by Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh and CBI counsel Sandesh Patil in reply to a query by the court on whether any appeals had been filed by the CBI challenging their discharge. They informed the court that while the CBI had filed appeals to challenge the discharge of two other individuals, they had not done so in the case of former deputy inspector general of Gujarat D G Vanzara, Rajasthan IPS officer Dinesh MN, and Gujarat IPS officer Rajkumar Pandiyan, who were discharge during 2016 and 2017.

The Special CBI Court had discharged the officials saying that the CBI had failed to get prior sanction or special permission to prosecute them. During an earlier hearing, Justice Mohite-Dere had questioned whether lack of sanction alone could be sufficient reason to warrant an accused person’s discharge.

She had also dismissed the CBI’s argument that it had challenged the discharge of two Rajasthan police sub-inspectors Himanshu Singh and Shyam Singh Charan and senior Gujarat police officer NK Amin. On Monday, when informed that the CBI’s plea challenging Singh and Charan’s discharge in 2016 was yet to come up for hearing in the High Court, the court decided to club these matters together and will hear them together on January 29.

The CBI’s submissions on Monday were made in the course of hearing by the single bench of Justice Revati Mohite-Dere of a revision petition filed by Sohrabuddin Shaikh’s brother Rubabuddin Shaikh. The lawyer appearing for Rubabuddin informed the court that while they had served notices to Dinesh MN and Pandiyan in the case, they had been unable to trace the address or contact details of Vanzara.

The court then directed the CBI to trace Vanzara’s whereabouts and serve him the notice. “The CBI is a premier probe agency. It should not encounter any impediment in finding the respondent’s (Vanzara’s) whereabouts or getting his address. We often direct the investigating officers to serve notices. In this case, the CBI should do it to avoid further delays in hearing,” Justice Mohite-Dere said.

Sohrabuddin, who the Gujarat police claimed had “links with the terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba,” and his wife Kausar Bi 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. Tulsiram Prajapati, a key witness to the alleged fake encounter, was also killed by police at Chapri village, Banaskantha district of Gujarat, in December 2006.

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