The Bombay High Court on Monday upheld the discharge of five Gujarat and Rajasthan policemen, including former Inspector General of Gujarat DG Vanzara, police officers Rajkumar Pandian and Dinesh MN, in connection with the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, ANI reported. Vanzara has retired while the other two are still in service.
While dismissing the petitions that challenged the discharge of these officers, the court also granted discharge to Gujarat IPS officer Vipul Aggarwal. He had approached the High Court after a trial court rejected his request.
Sheikh was a wanted criminal killed by the Gujarat Police in an encounter in November 2005, which is alleged to have been staged. Sheikh and his wife Kauserbi were travelling by bus from Hyderabad to Sangli in Maharashtra when they were stopped by the Gujarat and Rajasthan police, abducted and shot dead near Gandhinagar. A sub-inspector also allegedly raped Kauserbi before she was murdered.
Sheikh’s aide Tulsiram Prajapati was the sole witness to the murders. He was in police custody after the incident but was shot dead in another encounter in December 2006 when the police claimed he was trying to escape from custody.
Sohrabuddin Sheikh’s brother Rubabuddin challenged the discharge of Vanzara, Pandian and Dinesh MN, while the Central Bureau of Investigation had challenged the discharge of Rajasthan Police constable Dalpat Singh Rathod and Gujarat Police officer NK Amin.
Bombay High Court Justice AM Badar, who conducted daily hearings on the revision petitions for about two weeks in July, said the applications were “devoid of merit”, according to PTI.
During the hearing, the court had said it would not be affected by the fact that several witnesses have turned hostile in the trial court in the case. Out of the 129 witnesses examined at that time, 77 were declared hostile.