Gangster Sohrabuddin Shaikh case: Mumbai court prevents media from covering trial
The Mumbai court said the publication of daily proceedings could lead to the “likelihood of an untoward incident”mumbai Updated: Nov 29, 2017 22:08 IST
A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court restricted the media from covering the trial in the alleged fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Shaikh, which was scheduled to begin on Wednesday.
According to the prosecution, Shaikh, a local gangster, was allegedly abducted by the Gujarat anti-terrorist squad on November 23, 2005, while he and his wife, Kausar Bi, were on a Hyderabad-Sangli bus. Three days later, Shaikh and Bi were killed in an alleged fake encounter near Gandhinagar. The Supreme Court had transferred the case to Mumbai.
The court allowed the application filed by Shaikh’s advocates, who cited security concerns. They said the publication of daily proceedings could lead to the “likelihood of an untoward incident”.
Media representatives present in the courtroom requested the judge to let them have a say in the matter, before an order was passed. Additional sessions judge SJ Sharma allowed journalists to make oral submissions, following which they told the court that reporting the trial was in public interest and should not be banned.
Reporters said they had covered various cases, involving several accused and witnesses, in public interest. The journalists submitted that the blanket ban on reporting would not be fair as the public should know how the case was proceeding.
“I am of the view that the media should not be allowed to publish the proceedings until further order. The publications may create security problem for the accused, prosecution witnesses, the defence team and the prosecutor,” said judge Sharma.
The defence made references “to the attempt to kill senior lawyers appearing for the defence team in Mumbai, the history of 15 accused being discharged, and reports of the death of judge working on this case”. “The defence became apprehensive after such a natural death was given the colour of murder,” they said.
The court observed that “the accused are police from Gujarat, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. Around 15 accused, who are the ministers of Gujarat and Rajasthan, and high-ranking police officers have been discharged. The matter appears sensational.”
First Published: Nov 29, 2017 22:07 IST