New Delhi: Making a public statement on the Sohrabuddin case for the first time, a former judge in the Bombay high court, Justice Abhay M. Thipsay, has raised serious questions over exoneration of several high-profile persons in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh-Kauser Bi fake encounter case. He claimed that such processes signal that witnesses were under pressure.
Saying that the Bombay high court should use its powers of revision, even if it does so suo moto, Justice Abhay said that several aspects of the case are “contrary to common sense”.
The Indian Express has quoted Justice Thipsay saying, “you believe that he (Sheikh) was abducted. You also believe that it was a fake encounter. You also believe that he was illegally kept in the farmhouse. And you don’t believe that (D.G.) Vanzara (then DIG Gujarat), Dinesh M.N. (then Rajasthan SP) or Rajkumar Pandiyan (then Gujarat SP) are involved in that. How could the constabulary or inspector-level officers have any contact with him (Sheikh)? You mean to say a sub-inspector abducted him (Sheikh) from Hyderabad and brought him to a different state? When, on the basis of the same material, you say that there is no case against the SPs (Pandiyan, Dinesh). So the suspicion is that superior officers have been treated differently.”
He said the orders need to be scrutinised properly before the appropriate fora, and the High Court should look into it. He wondered that senior officers were discharged while the junior officers weren’t, though nature of material against them is the same. Though the bail was earlier denied to a number of accused for several years.
Out of 38 accused 15 including BJP president Amit Shah, who was then the home minister of Gujarat – have been discharged. He claimed that he found many unnatural things in how discharge orders have been passed in the case.
Thipsay also raised questions over unexplained and hasty transfers that judges hearing the case witnessed including Judge Utpat and Loya.
The judge also questioned the media gag order issued last November by special CBI Judge S.J. Sharma.