Court rejects objection to Gujarat cop’s plea to turn approver

Thursday, October 28, 2010

GANDHINAGAR - The Gujarat High Court Thursday dismissed the petition of suspended Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Rajkumar Pandian and other accused in the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh staged shootout case against a co-accused’s plea to turn approver.

The petitioners claimed that giving pardon to their co-accused and suspended police officer N.K. Amin, who wished to turn approver in the case, would be a violation of their fundamental rights.

The bench of Justice Jayant Patel and Justice H.B. Antani rejected their plea with an observation that Section 306 of the Criminal Procedure Code read with principles of natural justice and provisions of the constitution, did not cause prejudice to their fundamental rights.

The court said the co-accused had no role to play before the grant of pardon to and recording of the statement of an accused who becomes approver.

Suspended deputy superintendent of police Amin July 26 moved the Special Central Bureau of Investigation court of Judge A.Y. Dave, seeking pardon and permission to become an approver in the case.

Eight accused in the staged shootout case, including suspended IPS officers D.G. Vanzara and Dinesh M.N., objected to Amin’s plea and alleged that it would violate their fundamental rights.

The Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has been accused of killing Sheikh in a staged shootout Nov 26, 2005, in Ahmedabad. His wife Kauserbi is suspected to have been killed at a farmhouse near the city two days later.

Over a dozen policemen have been arrested for the killings.

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