There has been a calculated attempt to obstruct justice at every stage and delay the investigation in the Sohrabuddin encounter case, Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam said in the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
“This is a case of partial investigation and there was an attempt to waylay justice. There is more to it than meets the eye. Unless there is a thorough and impartial investigation by an independent investigating agency the truth will not come out,” Mr. Subramaniam, appearing as amicus curiae, told a Bench of Justices Tarun Chatterjee and Aftab Alam.
What happened to third person?
Listing the reasons why the matter should be reinvestigated, he said there was nothing in the probe conducted by the senior police officer Geeta Johri as to what happened to the third person, who accompanied Sohrabuddin and his wife Kausar Bi from Hyderabad to Ahmedabad — whether it was Tulsiram Prajapathi or someone else.
The role of police officers D.G. Vanzara, M.N. Dinesh and Rajkumar Pandian in the encounter had not been investigated properly and no custodial interrogation was conducted; it was not known how Kausar Bi was killed, how her body was burnt and who were responsible for her killing, Mr. Subramaniam said.
Nor was known anything about the role of officers who disposed of the body and of the police officers from Andhra Pradesh who had accompanied the Gujarat police from Hyderabad. The conspiracy to shut the investigation for more than one and half years must be thoroughly probed by an impartial and independent agency.
When Justice Alam asked what could be the motive of the Andhra Pradesh police in helping the Gujarat police in the encounter killings, Mr. Subramaniam said, “These are matters which require further probe.” He, however, pointed out that the Andhra Pradesh police had disowned any role in the killing of Sohrabuddin.
Earlier, senior counsel Dushyant Dave, appearing for Rubabuddin Sheikh, brother of Sohrabuddin, also sought transfer of the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation or any other independent agency as the Gujarat government had been systematically stifling the investigations.
Mr. Dave argued that there were glaring loopholes in the investigation and the resultant charge sheet showed complete negligence if not deliberate omission on the part of the investigating team. In such circumstances, the success of the prosecution was only a matter of guess. Arguments will continue on Thursday.