In a move that will conclusively establish the non-impartiality of the CBI, India’s federal probe agency, it has decided to oppose the public interest litigation filed in the Bombay High Court against the agency’s decision not to challenge a lower court order discharging BJP president Amit Shah in the fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Shaikh case.
The PIL was filed by Bombay Lawyers Association last week. It termed the CBI action of not challenging the 30 December, 2014 order of a special CBI court in Mumbai discharging Shah “illegal, arbitrary and mala fide.” The association has also filed a PIL seeking a probe into the death of CBI judge BH Loya by a commission of inquiry headed by a retired Supreme Court judge, reported The Hindu.
The CBI opposed the PIL saying arguing the ‘maintainability’ of the petition.
“We are opposing the petition. We also have an issue on the maintainability of the petition. The discharge order is of December 2014… there is an issue of limitations,” CBI counsel Anil Singh was quoted by the PTI.
A division Bench of Justices SC Dharmadhikari and Bharti Dangre on 23 January (Tuesday) posted the petition for arguments on 13 February after the CBI counsel sought time.
Senior lawyer Dushyant Dave, appearing for the petitioner, pointed out that the PIL had also sought records from the high court administrative committee on why the CBI judge, who was initially assigned to conduct trial in the case, was transferred, reported New Indian Express.
“We all belong to the institution and there is no doubt there is a serious debate on the matter which must be addressed by application of mind by the court. There is no wrong,” Dave was quoted by Indian Express.
The court said, “We feel the institution should be kept out as far as possible” requesting Mr. Dave to take an appropriate decision.
Sohrabuddin and his wife Kausar Bi were allegedly abducted by the Gujarat ATS from Hyderabad while they were on their way to Sangli in Maharashtra. They were gunned down in alleged fake encounter near Gandhinagar in November 2005. A year later in December 2006, Tulsiram Prajapati, a key witness in the case, was also killed by police at Chapri village in Banaskantha district of Gujarat in another alleged fake encounter..