Friday, July 6, 2012

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader from Rajasthan Gulabchand Kataria was questioned by Central Bureau of investigation (CBi) officer Sandeep tamgadge at the CBi-Sit (Special investigation team) office in Old Sachivalay, Gandhinagar, for several hours on thursday in connection with the tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter case. the CBi will be submitting its final report in the case on June 30. Kataria was earlier questioned by the CBi in connection with the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case. “His questioning started around 3 pm on thursday and continued till late evening,” a CBi source confirmed. He was summoned to appear before the CBi in connection with the tulsi encounter case as the investigating agency believes both the Sohrabuddin and tulsi encounters are linked. according to CBi sources, Kataria, who was home minister in the Rajasthan government in 2005, was allegedly approached by the influential marble lobby of Udaipur to eliminate Sohrabuddin Shaikh. While Sohrabuddin was killed in a fake encounter in 2005, his close aide tulsi was killed in 2006. the CBi had arrested 17 people, including 14 police officials, in the Sohrab encounter, but it did not arrest anyone in the tulsi case. Kataria’s subordinate and then state BJP pres ident Om Mathur too has been questioned in the Sohrab encounter case earlier. Sources close to the development told DNa Kataria had an important role to play when the conspiracy to eliminate Sohrab was hatched by the accused in the case. “Kataria can also provide the missing link that connects the two encounters,” said a source familiar with the development. Sohrab, tulsi and azam Khan, another Sohrab aide, formed a gang in Udaipur in 2003-04 to extort money from marble traders. in December 2004, they killed gangster Hameed Lala who was reportedly close to one of the most prominent marble traders.

In a major development, an NGO challenged juridiction of Justice MB Shah
commission and demanded immediate winding up of proceedings, which it claims can be
heard only by the Lokayukta of the state.
The MB Shah commission has been formed by the state government to inquire
in to the 15 charges of alleged corruption of millions of rupees by the state government
by favouring industrial houses. the commission started hearing the case of allocating
land to the adani group at throw away prices in Kutch.
During the hearing on thursday, Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL)
submitted a memorandum to the commission that, such charges of corruption by the
government cannot be probed by the one-man commission, headed by the Supreme
court’s retired judge, MB Shah.
“We have moved a representation before the commission that 15 charges of
alleged corruption can only be probed by the Lokayukta. it does not fall under the
jurisdiction of the commission formed by the state government in august last year,” said
Gautam thakar, a member of the PUCL. “We have also demanded the commission to
stop all proceedings immediately and not to show undue haste in concluding the
proceedings,” thakar added.
Another member of PUCL and a social activist, Prakash Shah submitted a
representation to the commission through his lawyer ami yagnik. the commission sought
reply from the state government and posted further hearing on the matter till July 1.
Meanwhile, special government counsel, Bhaskar tanna said, “We have sought
time from the commission to file reply to the representation filed by the NGO and we
will file a proper reply.” it is pertinent to note that, constitutional deadlock had been
created when the state governor Dr Kamla had appointed justice (retired) Ra Mehta nas
the Lokayukta without consulting the council of ministers. Government challenged the
action before the Gujarat high court which ruled in favour of the governor. the matter is
now pending before the Supreme Court as the government has filed an appeal. the state
government has not appointed Lokayukta in the state for the last eight years after justice
(retired) SM Soni was relieved from charge.