Case of suspended Gujarat cop Pandian not on par with others, HC says

Written By Unknown on Minggu, 24 November 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Wednesday rejected the bail plea made by Rajkumar Pandian a superintendent of police in Gujarat ATS when arrested in April 2007 as an accused in the 2005 Sohrabuddin fake encounter case.

Justice U V Bakre delivered the order via videoconference from the Goa bench of the HC and said that Pandian 's case was not on par with that of Dr N K Amin who had got bail on medical grounds. "Considering the involvement of the applicant (Pandian) in entire episode, in terms of strong prima facie evidence existing against him, as observed by the Gujarat High Court, his case cannot at all be taken to be at par with that of N K Amin," the judge said.

Housed now at Taloja prison in Navi Mumbai, Pandian had filed for bail last December. His counsel Mahesh Jethmalani along with Pranav Badheka argued that he deserves to be released on bail on the grounds that there is prima facie no evidence against him and since he has been in jail for over six years with no chargesheet, also on grounds of parity. Appearing for CBI, counsel Ejaz Khan opposed the bail plea and said he could tamper with evidence.

In September 2012, on orders of the SC, the case was transferred to Mumbai. The first charge Sheet filed in Mumbai was in May 2013.

The court observed that with regard to a co-accused in the case Amit Shah, the Gujarat High Court found that there was no prima facie case made out by the material on record and had granted him bail. It has been observed that the grant of bail to Shah in Sohrabuddin case shall be no consideration for grant of bail to the other accused and each bail plea would be considered on merit. Two others who were released on pre-arrest bail in the case--Ajay Patel and Yashpal Chudasama, were Chairman and Director respectively of Ahmedabad Co-op. Bank and they were not police officers, the HC said.

Certainly, Pandian's case cannot be compared with that of these co-accused, the HC judge said.

The fake encounter case was based on a letter written by Sohrabuddin's brother. It alleged that while a terror accused Sohrabuddin and his wife were travelling on a bus from Hyderabad to Sangli in Novembe 2005, ATS and STF team stopped the bus and picked them in the night and four days later on November 26 Sohrabuddin was killed in fake encounter and there was no trace of his wife Kausarbi. It was later found that Kausarbi, was killed and her body was disposed of at village Illol in District Sabarkantha, since she was an eye witness to the alleged abduction and killing of her husband Sohrabuddin.

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