Sohrabuddin case pleas: Bombay High Court to resume hearings in June

Bombay Bombay High Court will resume hearing in June revision petitions filed by Rubabuddin Sheikh and CBI challenging the discharge of police officers in the alleged Sohrabuddin Shaikh fake encounter

Photo courtesy: Sualeh Fatehi/Wikimedia Commons
Photo courtesy: Sualeh Fatehi/Wikimedia Commons


The Bombay High Court will resume in June the hearing on revision petitions filed by Rubabuddin Sheikh and the Central Bureau of Investigation, challenging the discharge of some senior police officers in the alleged fake encounter of Rubabuddin’s brother Sohrabuddin Shaikh.

Three pleas filed by Rubabuddin Sheikh and another two petitions filed by the CBI were left part heard when the assignments of some judges in the high court were changed suddenly in February this year. At the time of change of assignments in February, a single bench presided by Justice Revati Mohite-Dere had been conducting hearings on the revision applications on a day-to-day basis.

Justice Mohite-Dere had completed the hearings on three out of the five pleas. These include the plea filed by Sohrabuddin Sheikh's brother, challenging the discharge of IPS officers DG Vanzara, Dinesh MN, and Rajkumar Pandian, and two revision applications filed by the CBI against the discharge of former Gujarat IPS officer NK Amin and Rajasthan police constable Dalpat Singh Rathod. Justice Mohite-Dere had already heard a major chunk of arguments by all parties on four out of the five revision applications when on the evening of February 24, the assignments of the judges, including hers, were changed.

While the change had led to much speculation, the registrar of the Bombay High Court had termed it as a "routine" exercise.

In March, Rubabuddin Sheikh's lawyer, advocate Gautam Tiwari, mentioned the case before the new bench presided by Justice Nitin Sambre and the pleas were fixed for hearing today, April 25. Justice Sambre and said that a schedule to conclude the hearing on the revision petitions will be drawn up on June 20 this year.

Justice Sambre also refused to grant any urgent hearing to Rajkumar Pandian, former IPS officer and one of the discharged accused in the case, on his request seeking permission to travel to Canada next month for a training.

Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi were allegedly abducted and killed by a team of Gujarat and Rajasthan police officers in December 2005. Their aide, Tulsiram Prajapati, was allegedly "killed" by some Rajasthan police officers a year later.

A CBI probe termed both cases as fake encounters and charged 38 people as accused. Subsequently, a special CBI court in Mumbai discharged 14 people, including IPS officers and BJP president Amit Shah, in the case. Amit Shah was Home Minister of Gujarat at the time of the alleged fake encounter.

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