A day after the Bombay High Court reiterated that the Central Bureau of Investigation is failing to assist the court while hearing revision applications challenging the discharge of certain accused in the alleged fake encounter case of Sohrabuddin Shaikh, senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani submitted that the entire case was fabricated by a politically motivated the CBI in 2005.
Jethmalani is appearing for accused IPS officer Rajkumar Pandian, whose discharge from the case has been challenged. He also submitted that the Central agency is “now much more balanced.” Jethmalani also said Shaikh’s associate Tulsiram Prajapati, who was also allegedly killed in another fake encounter, was a notorious gangster, wanted by the police in three states.
“Sohrabuddin was a terrorist. He had been in touch with Dawood Ibrahim, who had been providing him with arms and ammunitions to propagate anti-national activities in the country. Both Sohrabuddin and Prajapati were criminals and extortionists who had several cases registered against them,” Jethmalani said.
Arguing against the prosecution’s case and hinting at the then UPA government’s interference in the case, Jethmalani said Sohrabuddin was finally arrested in 2005 and was “possibly shot by the police while he was trying to flee, but a politically-motivated CBI of that time built up this story of a fake encounter”.
Justice Revati Mohite Dere who is hearing the revision applications challenging the discharge of accused in the case on a daily basis, questioned what Jethmalani meant by the CBI of that time to which Jethmalani simply replied: “I am merely trying to say that today (the CBI) is much more balanced.”
Justice Dere retorted: “Is that why it refuses to provide any assistance to this court?”
Interestingly, Justice Revati Dere has consistently observed that the CBI does not seem sincere in its approach to the said case. Previously, she had questioned ASG Anil Singh as to why there was no sense of urgency in the agency seeing that the trial had begun in November and the discharge of accused challenged by the CBI itself had not been heard.
Witness Turned Hostile
Jethmalani also submitted that his client was in Ahmedabad on the day of Sohrabuddin’s death and had no role in the alleged encounter. He pointed out how CBI’s witness Nathuba Jadeja had turned hostile before the special CBI court which is hearing the said case of fake encounter.
Now, the CBI had relied on the testimony of Nathuba Jadeja, driver of the vehicle in which Sohrabuddin and his wife Kausar Bi were taken to the spot where the alleged encounter took place. Jadeja had stated that Pandian was in the same vehicle along with another Gujarat IPS officer DG Vanzara and that they were present when Kausar Bi’s body was burnt. However, during his cross-examination before the special CBI court, Jadeja turned hostile.