The Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday told the Bombay High Court that the plea challenging the discharge of Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case is a “publicity litigation and not a public interest litigation”, The Indian Express reported.
Sheikh was a wanted criminal who was killed by the Gujarat Police in an encounter, which is alleged to have been staged, in 2005. The Bombay Lawyers’ Association had moved the High Court against the CBI’s decision to not challenge a trial court’s December 2014 order discharging Shah. It had termed the agency’s decision as “illegal, arbitrary and malafide”.
Advocate Ahmed Abdi, appearing for the Bombay Lawyers’ Association, argued that if the CBI has challenged the discharge of other accused police officers, then why not Shah’s. “The central agency does not get to pick and choose whose discharge to challenge,” Abdi said, according to The Hindu. “Why is the CBI not challenging Mr. Shah’s discharge in the case?”
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, representing the CBI, said he had a preliminary objection to the petition filed by the lawyers’ association. He said Sohrabuddin’s brother had also filed a revision petition against the discharge earlier, but had withdrawn it. Two more petitions were filed later – while one was withdrawn, another one was dismissed, Singh argued. “This is a publicity litigation and not a public interest litigation,” The Hindu quoted Singh as saying.
The court will hear the matter next on October 3.