Bombay HC upholds discharge of DG Vanzara and other police officers accused in Sohrabuddin Case

Between August 2016 and September 2017, 15 of the 38 accused were discharged including 14 police officials and BJP President Amit Shah.


The Bombay High Court dismissed all pleas against the discharge against accused police officers in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case. It upheld the discharge granted by a trial court to ex-Gujarat ATS chief D.G. Vanzara and four others, all of them police officers from Gujarat and Rajasthan on Monday.
Bombay HC justice AM Badar held that the applications challenging the discharge were devoid of merit and granted relief to former IPS officers Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandian and N.K. Amin of the Gujarat police, and Dinesh M.N. and Dalpat Singh Rathod of the Rajasthan Police.
The Central Bureau of Investigation had booked 38 people in the “fake” encounters of Sohrabuddin Shaikh, his wife Kausar Bi in 2005 and their aide Tulsiram Prajapati in 2006.
“A single Bench of Justice AM Badar was hearing the bunch of petitions filed by Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubabuddin Shaikh challenging a lower court’s orders discharging Mr. Vanzara, then Deputy Inspector General of Police, Anti Terrorism Squad, and Mr. Dinesh from the case. The CBI also challenged the discharge of Rajasthan police constable Dalpat Singh Rathod and Gujarat police officer Dr. Narendra Amin,” The Hindu reported.
On discharging Mr. Dinesh, the court had said, “Considering the quality of material on record against him and taking into consideration entire prosecution story, to my mind, it is clear that there is no prima facie material against him to connect him to killing of Sohrabuddin and Prajapati much less as one of the conspirator,” the report said.
“Between August 2016 and September 2017, a special court in Mumbai, where the case was shifted from Gujarat following a Supreme Court order, discharged 15 of these 38 accused. Those discharged included 14 police officials and BJP president Amit Shah,” reported The Wire.
“Expressing his displeasure over today’s order, Rubabuddin Shaikh told The Wire that he expected better from the high court. “There was direct evidence against Pandian and Dinesh. These guys have played a direct role in the abduction of my brother and Tulsi Prajapati. The chargesheet clearly lists out the chain of events, the call data records and independent witnesses whose statements were taken by the CBI. I am surprised how the court did not take this into consideration and only looked at the witnesses who are turning hostile in the CBI trial court,” Rubabuddin said.
“Rubabuddin, who is also a witness in his brother’s murder trial and is yet to depose in the case, said he was served with a summon through a WhatsApp message in the first week of July and since he had met with a road accident, he could not make it to court. “The CBI too has shown no interest in ensuring that justice is delivered in the case. Like other witnesses, I too am under a tremendous pressure. I have received both veiled and direct threats to my life. Several attempts were made to physically harm me over the past year. If the condition does not improve, I might have to drop out from appearing before the court,” he added in the report.
“On November 23, 2005, Sohrabuddin, a local gangster, was travelling on a Hyderabad-Sangli bus along with his wife Kausar Bi and his trusted lieutenant Prajapati when they were allegedly abducted by a team of policemen attached to Gujarat’s Anti-Terrorism Squad and members of the Special Task Force from Rajasthan. The couple was allegedly detained at a private farm house near Gandhinagar and two days later, Sheikh was killed allegedly in a fake encounter. Kausarbi and Tulsiram too were later killed. The case was transferred to Mumbai on the orders of the Supreme Court,” The Hindu reported.



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