The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Gujarat government to produce on December 7 the 2005 call records of the former Gujarat Minister of State for Home, Amit Shah, and suspended police officials D.G. Vanzara and Rajkumar Pandyan, allegedly involved in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter killing.
A Bench of Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Desai gave this direction after senior counsel and amicus curiae Gopal Subramaniam drew the court's attention about several lapses in the CBI's investigation and how the State had withheld crucial call records from the CBI.
When Additional Solicitor General Vivek Tanka told the court that the CBI had so far “stumbled upon” the call records of N.K. Amin, only one police officer allegedly involved in the encounter, Justice Alam told the State Additional Advocate General Tushar Mehta, “Either show us receipts showing that the CDs [containing the call records] were handed over to the CBI or produce the CDs on Wednesday.”
By an order dated January 12, 2010, the Supreme Court ordered a CBI probe acting on a writ petition filed by Rubabuddin, brother of Sohrabuddin and Mr. Shah had filed an application seeking to recall the order.
Mr. Subramaniam said these call records were relevant and crucial and the Gujarat Police officers must explain. On the CBI's submission, that these call records were not available, he said “If someone [the State] is not parting with it, there are ways the CBI could get it.” The CDs must be in possession of somebody, he insisted. Justice Alam said “the CDs can't disappear and the State must make them physically available on Wednesday.” Mr. Tushar Mehta told the court that whatever was available with the State would be provided.
When Mr. Subramaniam pointed out that the State government had taken much pain to demonstrate in every court that the Sohrabuddin killing had no links with the Tulsiram Prajapati case, Justice Alam observed, “The truth is not being told to the court. Prima facie, the two encounters are linked.”
Counsel also criticised the CBI for not probing the Andhra Pradesh angle in the Sohrabuddin killing. He rejected Mr. Shah's claim that the killing of Sohrabuddin was an anti-terror operation and the result of a political conspiracy theory. Arguments will continue on December 7.
Keywords: fake encounter killing