Monday, December 13, 2010

Sohrab Case: Action before big day

Govt Opposes Transfer Of Case Outside Gujarat

Ahmedabad: The state government on Monday submitted an affidavit before the Supreme Court opposing the CBI’s suggestion that the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case be transferred outside Gujarat. Sohrabuddin case is scheduled to come up for hearing in the SC on Tuesday.
In the last hearing, the CBI had submitted its status report to the SC, where the probe agency had simply made a mention about transferring the trial of Sohrabuddin case outside Gujarat.

The probe agency has alleged in its status report that the witnesses of Sohrabuddin case were being threatened in Gujarat. The CBI had cited the example of Sohrabuddin’s one-time aide Azam Khan who was abducted by Gujarat police officials and made to retract his statement. Khan later withdrew his retraction and CBI recorded his statement under Section 164 of CrPC. The report also raised a security concern and sought protection by Central forces for CBI’s investigating officer and witnesses. State government’s affidavit also protests the handing over of Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter probe to CBI. In its status report last month, the CBI had sought permission to take over the Prajapati case investigation.
Prajapati case is already being investigated by CID (crime), Gujarat. “The affidavit points out that there is also no evidence to suggest that the third person who was abducted along with Sohrabuddin and Kauser Bi from Hyderabad in 2005 was indeed Tulsiram. So, the demand for transfer of investigation is unjustified,” said a state home department official.
State government has also opposed another plea made by CBI in its status report seeking permission to probe the 2004 shootout at Popular Construction’s office in Ahmedabad. The firm’s owners — Dasrath and Raman Patel — are witnesses in the Sohrabuddin case. CBI claims that this case too is linked to the Sohrabuddin encounter. The agency said the incident was stage-managed to get his accomplices to help track down Sohrabuddin. Former minister of state for home, Amit Shah, too, filed a petition on Monday before the SC, seeking copies of the CBI’s status report and other documents concerning the allegations against him in the Sohrabuddin case.

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