Delhi High Court advocate M. Sufian Siddiqui has fought many a legal battle for youth implicated by the police in false cases. He was also the defence counsel in the case of State versus Maurif Qamar and Mohammad Irshad Ali in which the Central Bureau of Investigation in its closure report stated that “far from being Al-Badr terrorists as alleged by the Special Cell, the accused were innocent men, framed and falsely implicated in the entire case”.
Moreover, to top it, Mr. Sufian Siddiqui said, some of the cops become so brazen that they do not even fight shy of intimidating or threatening other investigators. “One sub-inspector in this case had openly threatened the CBI’s investigating officer, amounting to interference in the administration of justice and intending to forbid the investigating officer from discharging his duty in a fair manner prompting him to lodge a formal complaint with the trial court.”
Asked by The Hindu about his views on revelations that a number of men have in the past been falsely framed in terror cases, Mr. Siddiqui said: “I have never come across a single case in my professional career where the Special Cell has caught the real perpetrator. They just plant and fabricate evidence to either invent a false case or show the existing case to be solved.”
In the process, he lamented, “The innocent citizens of our country are cheated for they feel those caught are the real culprits whereas the fact remains that the real culprits continue to roam free.”
The CBI, to whom the Delhi High Court handed over the case of Maurif Qamar and Mohammad Irshad Ali for conducting in-depth investigation, submitted in its closure report before the trial court on November 11, 2008, that far from being Al-Badr terrorists as alleged, the accused were innocent men. The CBI further recommended “legal action against SIs Vinay Tyagi, Subhash Vats and Ravinder Tyagi … for commission of offences u/s 120-B r/w 193, 195 and substantive offences thereof as per provisions of Section 195(1) (b) (i) CrPC”.
Mr. Sufian Siddiqui said the trial court had rejected the CBI closure report while extensively placing reliance on the charge-sheet filed by the Special Cell, though he had vehemently opposed the locus of Special Cell since the matter stood transferred to the CBI.
The Delhi High Court, while hearing the appeal filed by Irshad Ali and Maurif Qamar against the trial court’s order, issued notice to the Attorney-General considering that the matter involved national security. The Attorney-General made submissions in the matter and completely supported the case of the duo.
The High Court, while disposing of the appeals filed by the duo, had put an embargo on the charge-sheet filed by the Special Cell from being considered and directed that the trial court should only consider the said CBI closure report, he added.
The State challenged this in the Supreme Court and the matter has been pending there for the past three years. “It is a matter of time and the writing is on the wall. The erring police officers would be arraigned and no one would be able to save them from criminal proceedings,” Mr. Siddiqui insists.
Mr. Siddiqui said the State had only moved the Supreme Court to save the skins of their erring police officials and delay action against them. Noting that action against guilty police officials involved a cumbersome process, the advocate said “criminal trial takes its own sweet time”. He demanded that wherever police personnel are found indulging in unlawful activities “they should at least be suspended” as otherwise due to their presence the investigation becomes incredulous and may even get vitiated.
The lawyer for the duo said there were about a dozen examples before him in which police personnel had implicated people in false cases to seek out of turn promotions or even President’s medals. “They do this in collusion with intelligence officials and innocent persons are framed.”