Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sadiq encounter: HC raps govt for CBI team’s plight

Express news service : Ahmedabad

The Gujarat High Court on Monday rapped the Gujarat government over its failure in providing proper infrastructure to the CBI, which is probing the 2003 Sadiq Jamal Mehtar encounter case.

The court asked the state government why it had failed in providing proper infrastructure to the investigating agency in the last six months. “You have not done anything except for exchange of correspondence in this period,” the single-judge bench of Justice M R Shah observed.

Sadiq was killed in an encounter by a team of Ahmedabad City Detection Crime Branch (DCB) in Naroda area of Ahmedabad on January 13, 2003.

The High Court had transferred the probe in the case from Gujarat Police to the CBI on June 16 last year. The court had directed the CBI to complete the investigation preferably within six months.

Following the criticism from the HC, the state government counsel told the court that all the required infrastructure, including 2,500 square feet of office space in Gandhinagar with internet and telephone connection, would be provided within 10 days. He also said six personnel of the State Reserve Police (SRP) would be provided to the CBI team from tomorrow.

Earlier, the CBI had sought an additional six months to probe the case, citing non-availability of proper infrastructure for carrying out the investigation.

The CBI, in its application, had said it was conducting investigations from the circuit house and Vishram Gruh (government rest-house) since there was no infrastructure provided by the state government, “which was one of the causes of the delay in the probe”.

The next hearing is on February 7, 2012.

As part of its investigation, the CBI had issued summons to a Mumbai-based journalist Ketan Tirodkar, who had challenged it in the Bombay High Court saying he should not be interrogated in this case.

Tirodkar had alleged in an affidavit filed in the special MCOCA court of Maharashtra that Mumbai police’s Daya Nayak had handed over Sadiq to Gujarat Police “to oblige a big politician of Gujarat”.

Tirodkar had also claimed in the affidavit that he was present when Sadiq was handed over to the Gujarat Police on January 11, 2003.

Another reason cited by the CBI for seeking more time was that reports of a number of scientific tests were awaited from various agencies and forensic labs. Also, a number of witnesses remained to be examined.

The CBI had stated in its application that it had already examined 107 witnesses in connection with the case.


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