The Bombay high court on Thursday granted bail to former Gujarat deputy inspector general of police DG Vanzara, in jail for over seven years, in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.
However, the former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of Gujarat cadre is not likely to come out of prison immediately since there is another criminal case in Gujarat pending against him.
He has been ordered not to enter Gujarat, surrender his passport and be present in a Mumbai trial court every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Justice Abhay Thipsay granted Vanzara bail on a bond of Rs 2 lakh and one or two sureties of the same amount on the ground of parity — primarily in view of the fact that the apex court had granted bail to two other IPS officers booked in the same case.
Vanzara was arrested in April 2007 along with two IPS officers Rajkumar Pandian and Dinesh MN in connection with the alleged staged encounter of gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh, who allegedly had links with Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba.
According to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Sohrabuddin and his wife were abducted by Gujarat’s Anti-Terrorism Squad on way from Hyderabad to Sangli in Maharashtra and killed in a staged encounter near Gandhinagar in November 2005.
Vanzara quit the IPS last year while in jail, alleging the encounter killings were at the orders of the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat and that they had failed to protect him.
The apex court had earlier granted bail to Rajkumar Pandian, a former police officer, whose bail plea was rejected by the Bombay high court. According to the CBI, Pandian had played a key role in picking up the Sohrabuddin and his wife from Hyderabad before they were killed in the alleged fake encounter.
Sheikh and his wife were allegedly abducted by Gujarat’s Anti-Terrorist Squad from Hyderabad and killed in suspected fake encounters near Gandhinagar in November 2005.