Friday, April 8, 2011

HC reserves order on CBI probe in Sadiq Jamal case

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat high court on Friday reserved its order on whether CBI probe should be ordered in the Sadiq Jamal Mehtar encounter case of 2003. Justice M R Shah kept his verdict pending after completion of a lengthy hearing from all parties concerned.
Sadiq’s brother Shabbir sought CBI probe alleging that the encounter was staged and dubbing Sadiq as a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative after his killing was a design on part of Gujarat police, which must be probed.
Besides medical and forensic reports, his counsel Mukul Sinha relied on a confession made in a MCOCA court by Mumbai-based journalist Ketan Tirodkar. Tirodkar claimed in 2004 that Sadiq was handed over to Gujarat police by Mumbai’s encounter specialist Daya Nayak.
Reiterating that the encounter was genuine, the state government urged the court to dismiss the petition on ground of delay that the encounter took place in 2003, and the petition was filed in 2007 without availing alternative remedy. Prakash Jani, the government pleader, contended that if CBI is brought in to probe this case, it will have a demoralising impact on the Gujarat police force.
The lawyers of two accused cops, P P Pande and D G Vanzara, contended that Tirodkar’s version was not reliable.
However, petitioner’s counsel Sinha submitted during the hearing that the petitioner had no knowledge of earlier investigation, and hence there was no question of challenging the closure report filed by investigating agency in this case. He argued that the state government cannot raise the issue of delay, because no prejudice is caused to the prosecuting agency for late filing of such petition.
There are three encounter cases, wherein investigation has been ordered by courts. The Supreme Court has directed CBI probe in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter cases, while the high court has constituted a special investigation team to find out whether the Ishrat Jahan encounter was genuine or not.

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