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Sohrabuddin case: HC refuses bail to accused IPS officer

September 28, 2012 17:23 IST
The Gujarat high court on Friday rejected the bail application of suspended IPS officer Abhy Chudasama, who is one of the key accused in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh fake encounter case of 2005.

"Considering the fact that the applicant is a senior police officer in the state of Gujarat, the likelihood of his tampering with evidence and intimidating witnesses if released on bail, cannot be ruled out," said Justice Abhilasha Kumari while pronouncing the order reserved on September 7, 2012.

"Also considering the totality of facts and circumstances of the case and material on record, in my view, there exists a prima facie case against the applicant (Chudasama), as is clearly borne out from the material on record," it was observed.

"This is not a fit case to exercise the discretionary powers under Article 439 of the constitution," said Justice Abhilasha Kumari, while pronouncing the order reserved on September 7.

The court also clarified that, "The trial court shall decide the case in accordance with law, without being influenced by any observations made in this judgement, as the court has examined the matter only from the perspective of grant of bail, without entering into the merits of the case".

Earlier, just before the pronouncement of the order, CBI counsel Yogesh Ravani informed the court about Thursday's Supreme Court order, directing transfer of the trial of this case out of Gujarat state.

However, Justice Abhilasha Kumari said that she will go ahead with the pronouncement.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court had rejected the CBI's plea to cancel the bail granted to former Gujarat minister Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh encounter case, but agreed to transfer the trial from Gujarat to Mumbai.

Suspended IPS officer Abhay Chudasama has been accused by the CBI of being a henchman, not only in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, but also in the alleged extortion racket run at Shah's behest.

In July, 2010 Chudasama was the first to be arrested by the CBI, while the next was Amit Shah.

S V Raju, advocate for Chudasama, had argued that at the time of Shaikh's encounter, he was not even present at the spot and there was no direct evidence against him, showing his involvement in the encounter.

Countering this argument, advocate Yogesh Rawani who represented the CBI, claimed that all witnesses examined by it had disclosed Chudasama's involvement.

CBI has also argued that Chudasama was a high profile cop and he has also been accused of intimidating witnesses in the case.

Sohrabudin and his wife Kauser Bi were allegedly abducted by the Gujarat's Anti-Terrorist Squad from Hyderabad and killed in a fake encounter near Gandhinagar on November 26, 2005.

Image: Gujarat High Court building in Ahmedabad

Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

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