Gujarat govt, ASG trade charges
The Gujarat government on Monday charged the Centre with taking political mileage out of the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case even as Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanim, amicus curiae in the case, accused the state police of leaving loopholes in the investigation to save the accused IPS officers.
"The Union of India wants to make it an election issue as assembly polls are to be held this year," KTS Tulsi, counsel for the Gujarat government, told a two-judge bench. Attorney General Milon Bannerji did not react to the allegations levelled at the Centre.
However, Subramanium brushed aside the allegations, saying it was immaterial to him if the case was being used for electoral gains. "My only concern is that the accused be brought to book." The ASG accused the Gujarat Police of making a mockery of justice by providing the accused with a gateway to escape. He said three people — Sohrabuddin, Kauser Bi and an eyewitness — had been killed but nothing had been done to establish the motive behind the killings.
He also alleged interference by an additional DGP of the state at every stage of the CID probe. Alleging that "hardly any investigation was done", he sought copies of the chargesheet and five action taken reports filed by the Gujarat CID.
Subramanium's allegations came after Tulsi told the court a chargesheet had been filed in an Ahmedabad court and the apex court should now stop monitoring the case. He also refused to part with copies of the chargesheet on the grounds that it could endanger the lives of witnesses whose names were on it. "If this court becomes the forum for tearing apart the chargesheet, what role will be left for the trial court," he asked, adding: "It is not an easy task to prosecute IPS officers."
However, Tulsi later agreed to share the chargesheet with the amicus curiae without the list of witness names and the court accordingly directed the state police to furnish an English translation to Subramanium by Friday. It then posted the case for hearing on Monday.
The court will also consider another petition seeking an independent probe into the alleged fake encounter of Javed, whose father has moved court.
The Gujarat Police had admitted before the court that Sohrabuddin was killed in a fake enounter and his wife too was killed and her body burnt.