Monday, July 11, 2011

FIR lodged against former employee of social activist Teesta Setalvad, Rais Khan - HC gives nod for police probe

The Gujarat high court on Monday gave green signal to the Navrangpura police to start probe following an FIR lodged against former employee of social activist Teesta Setalvad, Rais Khan and his associates in connection with the 2002 riots. An FIR was lodged against Khan last year at the behest of special judge S H Vora to prosecute him for his alleged move to furnish false evidence before the trial court hearing the Naroda Gam massacre case.
The special judge had asked the sessions court’s registrar to lodge a complaint against ‘Khan and his associates’. He had also dismissed Khan’s plea to treat him as a witness so that he could testify against Setalvad. The registrar moved the court order along with a draft complaint to the metropolitan court, where metropolitan court No 13 asked the Navrangpura police to lodge an FIR and investigate the case under the provisions of section 156(3) of CrPC.
However, the registrar later moved the high court challenging this metropolitan court’s decision asking police to lodge an FIR. Plea was filed on the ground that the special court had already held that Khan is guilty of offence. The registrar expressed apprehension that the police could exonerate the accused by filing summary report, which would be contrary to the conclusion of the court, which has perused evidence.
After hearing the arguments, Justice M R Shah has permitted the police to go ahead with the probe against accused persons other than Khan, against whom the trial court has already observed in its order to lodge an FIR.
HC nod to this probe could prove troublesome for Setalvad, for Khan has been maintaining that he was facilitating the witnesses in preparing affidavits at her behest. Already, due to Khan’s revelation, Setalvad is facing a probe in the case related to illegal exhumation of dead bodies from the Pandarwada mass grave.

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