An Indian Police Services officer accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case on Thursday sought bail on grounds of parity that one of the key accused in the case was granted bail by the Gujarat high court recently.
Rajkumar Pandiyan, has approached the Gujarat high court seeking bail on the grounds that former Gujarat Minister Amit Shah, a prime accused in the fake encounter case was given bail.
He has also contended that since his arrest in April 2007, the circumstances pertaining to the case have changed and the investigation also has been completed.
Justice M R Shah hearing the case has kept next hearing in the case on December 24. Pandiyan's counsel S B Vakil argued in the court that since his client's bail was first rejected in 2008, circumstances pertaining to the case have changed.
He said the Supreme Court has stayed the trial of the case in 2008 and it was uncertain when trial would commence. Also, now the case was transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation by the apex court following which the agency has filed chargesheet against Pandiyan and submitted final report in SC, he added.
Vakil further contended that since key accused like Shah was granted bail by Gujarat high court in October, his client also deserves to be released on bail as there were no apprehension of him interfering with probe which as per CBI was complete.
Vakil further argued that it was not in the interest of justice to keep him in prison when the investigation against Pandiyan was complete.
He said his client had a right to live under the Article 21 of the Constitution and there was no point in keeping him jail where he has been for over three years.
Pandiyan along with other IPS officer accused in the case D G Vanzara and Dinesh M N were arrested by the state CID for the 2005 fake encounter of Sohrabuddin in April 2007.
After the SC transferred the case to CBI, the agency has arrested IPS officer Abhay Chudasama and former Gujarat minister of state for home and close aide of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah.
The CBI in the chargesheet filed in the case has described Shah as the kingpin of the conspiracy that led to the killing of Sohrabuddin, his wife Kausar Bi and close aide Tulsiram Prajapati and faces charges of murder, kidnapping and extortion.
The agency has also accused Shah of running an extortion racket in connivance with criminals and police officials of Rajasthan and Gujarat.
Shah is presently out on bail. CBI has challenged the Gujarat high court order granting bail to Shah in the Supreme Court which is scheduled to be heard on December 14.