Tuesday, September 9, 2014

CBI court tells all accused to be present on September 22

A special CBI court Tuesday asked all the accused in the alleged fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in 2005, including BJP president Amit Shah, to be present in court on September 22 and continue to attend court regularly. Judge B H Loya observed, “It is informed and directed to the applicant accused persons to attend the court regularly unless there is sound reason or sufficient ground for seeking exemption.”

While exempting eight accused including Shah from attending court proceedings on Tuesday, Loya, however, said, “As the matter is for hearing and passing orders on some interim applications, today’s (Tuesday) attendance of the accused persons in court stands dispensed with.” Shah’s counsel Shirish Gupte and lawyer Mitesh Amin told the court that he was unable to attend court on Tuesday as he was busy with “political work” in Jharkhand. Shah, who has been chargesheeted along with 37 others, had filed several applications seeking exemption from attending court citing “political work”, which were earlier allowed.

On Tuesday, the court also rejected a bail application filed by a police inspector attached to the Gujarat Anti-terrorism Squad (ATS), who allegedly fired a bullet which was recovered from the body of Sohrabuddin. While rejecting the bail plea of inspector N H Dabhi, Judge Loya observed that the accused was not eligible for bail either on merit or parity.

Arguing for Dabhi, his lawyer Sachin Pawar had argued that Dabhi was just following orders he received from his superiors, who have already been granted bail. Superintendent of Police Rajkumar Pandiyan was granted bail by the Supreme Court, following which two inspectors attached to the Rajasthan Police were also granted bail by the Bombay High Court.

Counsel for Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubabuddin objected to the exemption granted to Shah and informed the court that Shah was in Mumbai on September 4 and 5. “He could have scheduled his trips in tandem with the hearing dates. It appears that the case is not his priority and not important to him,” said Anubha Rastogi, counsel for Rubabuddin. The court has directed Rubabuddin’s lawyers to file a reply to Shah’s discharge application before the next date of hearing on September 17.

See also:

Very short list of examples of rule of law in India

The Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi