Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Botching up the Sohrabuddin Probe


Excerpts from Rajnish Rai's submission before the Central Administrative Tribunal, Ahmedabad

Sohrabuddin was killed in a police encounter in Ahmedabad on 26/11/2005 by a police team comprising officers of ATS, Gujarat and Rajasthan Police. Thereafter, his brother and his mother had moved the Hon'ble Supreme Court about the killing of Sohrabuddin and disappearance of his wife Kauserbi. The Hon'ble Supreme Court had on 21/01/2006 directed the DGP P C Pande to cause inquiry into the killing of Sohrabuddin and disappearance of his wife Kauserbi. Although the order was served upon DGP Pande, for 6 months he did not take any action. This disregard is apparent from the fact that the SC registrar had sent three reminders at an interval of three months seeking compliance of the directive. Following the third reminder, DGP Pande had ordered an enquiry in the matter by CID (Crime). The preliminary enquiry (PE) by CID (Crime) prima facie disclosed that the encounter of Sohrabuddin was not genuine, and it was a cold blooded murder. The inquiry, however, could not say anything about the whereabouts of Kauserbi, and concluded it by saying that she was missing.

DGP was defying SC
The PE was dragged on for more than 9 months before further investigation were finally entrusted to CID (Crime) u/s 173 (8) CrPC in the first week of March, 2007. The admission of commission of a cognizable offence was reported to the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the Interim Report dated 07/12/2006 of Geetha Johri, then IGP, CID (Crime). At least at this stage a criminal offence against the suspected accused senior police officers should have been registered. But the DGP, whose duty it was in his capacity as DGP, did not get that done. In this fashion, the DGP was disobeying the direction of law for delaying action in a heinous crime by senior police officers.

Amit was influencing DGP
DGP Pande played highly dubious and acquiescent role to the criminal conspiracy of Amit Shah, then MoS (Home) and others who were instrumental in tampering with official records pertaining to Sohrabuddin case in the office of CID (Crime) for the express purpose of hiding their role in obstructing the much needed visit of the enquiry officer to Udaipur, Rajasthan for recording the statement of a key witness named Tulsiram Prajapati. Most importantly, this delay was used by the concerned accused police officers to kill Prajapati in another fake encounter on 28/12/2006. The dubious role of DGP Pande in not preventing the tampering of records despite knowing that Amit Shah, then MoS (Home) had directed the supervisory officer to do so in his presence reasonably indicates the complicity of DGP Pande in the conspiracy to murder Prajapati with the motive of not bringing on record the testimony of a key witness. These facts have been disclosed by the witnesses, including the enquiry officer VL Solanki, then PI in CID (Crime), and RV Acharya, PA to IGP, CID (Crime) during the investigation of Sohrabuddin case by the CBI.

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