Sohrabuddin encounter case: Witnesses hostile, but have not complained, CBI tells Bombay HC

Updated on Feb 14, 2018 10:18 AM IST

Meanwhile, the prosecution on Monday examined three witnesses who acted as panch witnesses for the process of collection of viscera of Shaikh.

Sohrabuddin Sheikh, who was killed in an encounter.(HT File/Representational Image)
Sohrabuddin Sheikh, who was killed in an encounter.(HT File/Representational Image)
Hindustan Times | ByKanchan Chaudhari, Mumbai

Although most of the prosecution witnesses in Sohrabuddin Shaikh encounter case have turned hostile, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday told the Bombay high court that it had not received any complaint from them.

“We have not received any complaint from any of the witnesses,” additional solicitor general Anil Singh, who represented the central agency, told Justice Revati Mohite-Dere. Singh assured the court that the CBI would provide police protection to witness if they approach the central agency with complaints of threat or intimidation.

The additional solicitor general added that the central agency, at the time of serving summons to its own witnesses, told them to approach them for protection in case of any apprehension.

But, they had not received any complaint in this case.

Singh was responding to a query from Justice Mohite-Dere, who is hearing pleas challenging discharge of some police officers from Sohrabuddin Shaikh encounter case.

Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubabuddin has filed three applications challenging the discharge of Gujarat cadre IPS officer Dhayaji Vanzara, IPS officer from Rajasthan Dinesh MN and member of Rajasthan police constabulary, Dalpat Singh Rathod, from the case.

The CBI has also challenged the discharge of Rathod and Narendra Amin, an IPS officer from Gujarat.

According to the CBI, on November 23, 2005, Sohrabuddin was travelling on a Hyderabad-Sangli bus with his wife Kausarbi and Tulsiram Prajapati when they were allegedly abducted by a team of policemen attached to Gujarat anti-terrorists squad and members of the Special Task Force from Rajasthan.

Two days later, Sohrabuddin was killed, allegedly in an encounter, and Kausarbi was allegedly killed the next day.

Tulsiram, who had been arrested in connection with a case registered in Udaipur, was taken to Gujarat and allegedly killed in an encounter in December 2006.

The case was transferred to Mumbai on orders of the Supreme Court.

On Monday, Justice Mohite-Dere rapped the CBI for failing to protect witnesses in the case and for lacking seriousness in prosecuting the case. The judge was irked to note that most of the prosecution witnesses examined have turned hostile.

CRPF constable fails to recall accused policemen

A CRPF head constable, who was posted in Hyderabad in 2005, deposed in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh encounter case at the sessions court on Tuesday.

Islavat Naik, who was posted at Hyderabad and was assigned mess duty, had been examined by the prosecution in December. He was again called with the documents related to the stay of the accused cops in November 2005.

The prosecution claimed that the policemen had stayed in the official mess before they followed Sohrabuddin, his wife Kausarbi and Tulsi Prajapati.

The room bookings were done in the name of the then Deputy Inspector General of police GE Radhakrishna.

On Tuesday, Naik submitted the bills for November 2005. The bills were in the name of Radhakrishna and did not mention who stayed in the mess. Naik said the bills were for the entire month and were in the officer’s name. He said he could not recall who had stayed in the mess.

In his deposition in December, Naik had said some police officers had stayed at the mess but he does not remember their faces as they used to return at night.

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