The former Deputy Superintendent of Police, Narendra Amin, on Tuesday sprang a surprise by withdrawing his application to turn approver in the Shorabuddin-Kausarbi murder case in Gujarat and seeking pardon.

In a setback to the Central Bureau of Investigation, Mr. Amin moved a five-page application before a special CBI court here with a prayer that he be at liberty to file another application to turn approver, if he so desired, in the sessions court at a relevant time when the case is committed to the sessions for trial.

The CBI court accepted the plea and granted him the liberty.

Mr. Amin referred to various issues in his application — the delay in the execution of his approver application; the threat to his life, following which he was shifted to the Vadodara Jail from the Sabarmati Central Jail in Ahmedabad on the orders of the Gujarat High Court; his false implication in the case; and the conspiracy to keep him inside the jail and get him killed there.

He claimed that he had been falsely implicated by both the State CID (Crime), which was investigating the case earlier, and the CBI now.

Referring to the circumstances, Mr. Amin said he now decided not to press his application to turn approver. After accepting the application, special CBI judge A.Y. Dave disposed of the petition seeking permission to turn approver and for granting him pardon, said Mr. Amin's lawyer Jagdish Ramani.

No development

Since he moved the court on July 26 last for permission to turn approver, there had been no major development on the application, with either Mr. Amin or the CBI's lawyers seeking adjournment on one ground or the other. The application was still pending before the special CBI court after the matter was remitted back to it by the Gujarat High Court following strong objections raised by the co-accused, including the former DIG D.G. Vanzara, who raised the question of constitutional impropriety in accepting Mr. Amin as approver.

A medical practitioner before turning policeman, Mr. Amin, at the behest of Mr. Vanzara and other superiors, was believed to have administered very high doses of anaesthesia to Kausarbi to cause her death a couple of days after the elimination of her husband, Sohrabuddin.

Mr. Amin also conducted a sting operation on some of the co-accused in the Sabarmati jail, revealing much of the circumstances that led to the killing of Sohrabuddin in a fake encounter in 2005.