Sohrabuddin case: Former Bombay HC judge raises doubts over past hearings

Sohrabuddin case: Former Bombay HC judge raises doubts over past hearings

Justice Abhay M. Thipsay, a former judge of the Bombay high court, has on Wednesday raised questions about the manner in which several high-profile accused in the alleged fake encounter case of Sohrabuddin Shaikh were discharged.

By: || Updated: 14 Feb 2018 05:30 PM

Justice Abhay M Thipsay, a former judge of the Bombay high court. Photo: ABP News

MUMBAI: Justice Abhay M Thipsay, a former judge of the Bombay high court, has on Wednesday raised questions about the manner in which several high-profile accused in the alleged fake encounter case of Sohrabuddin Shaikh were discharged.

Justice Thipsay said the trial, in this case, was unlike the proceedings in other cases in session courts and several such things have occurred in this case that generally don't happen during other trials.

"Several accused in this case were denied bail for several years, meaning there would have been a strong case against them. But later the court held that there is no prima facie case against those accused and later they were cleared," Justice Thipsay told ABP News.

"Logically, it cannot be digested that there was no case against them. Had there been no prima facie case against them, they would have been granted bail earlier," he added.

Justice Thipsay had ruled on four bail applications in the case, allowing bail to two of the accused in 2013 and 2014. He retired as an Allahabad High Court judge last year.

He said some accused have been discharged while some are not, though the nature of material against them is the same.

The trial court has taken a view that some statements recorded by the police were unreliable and had put them under a meticulous scrutiny. However, the same material was considered as reliable against those accused whose discharge applications were rejected," he said.

Justice Thipsay said three police officers were discharged on the grounds that there was no sanction order. However, the court did not put its total reliance on the absence of section orders.

He said he believes that the court should re-examine all these orders whether they were proper or not.

"High court has the suo moto powers. If it feels that other others should also be re-examined, it can all for the record and decide whether the orders of discharge were correct or not," he said.

Sohrabuddin, a gangster with alleged terror links, and his wife Kausar Bi were allegedly abducted by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad in November 2005. Shaikh was killed in an alleged fake encounter in November 2005 while his wife disappeared.

A year later, an eyewitness to the encounter, Prajapati, was also allegedly killed by police in another fake encounter in December 2006.

The trial court discharged 15 of the 38 people named by the CBI in its chargesheet. Those discharged included several Gujarat police officials and BJP president Amit Shah, who was serving as the home minister of Gujarat at that time.

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