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CBI asked to reply to Rathi’s review petition


New Delhi : The Delhi High Court Monday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to reply to former Delhi Police official S.S. Rathi’s petition challenging his conviction for killing two innocent businessmen in Connaught Place in 1997.

The court also issued notice to the investigating agency on Rathi’s application seeking direction for his release on bail, pending the disposal of the case.

A division bench headed by Justice R.S. Sodhi asked the CBI to file its reply by Nov 13.

The former assistant commissioner of Delhi Police along with nine members of his team was given life term Oct 24 for killing the two innocent Haryana-based businessmen, Pradeep Goyal and Jagjit Singh, on March 31, 1997, claiming they were dreaded mobsters.

A trial court had on Oct 16 held them guilty under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including Section 302 (murder).

Senior counsel K.T.S. Tulsi, appearing for Rathi, sought suspension of the sentence, arguing that the prosecution evidence was in his favour.

In his revision petition Saturday, Rathi said the trial court had erred in appreciating the evidence that he was neither present on the spot of the incident nor did he fire a single shot from his service revolver.

He should not be charged for murder for no fault of his, he said.

Rathi said he did not even order his subordinate staff to fire at the two men or at the car in which they were travelling.

The trial judge had failed to appreciate the defence submission, counsel argued, seeking immediate release of the accused on bail.

In his appeal, Rathi alleged that the trial judge had “disregarded” the statements of a majority of prosecution witnesses and relied upon the sole testimony of Tarunpreet Singh, an eyewitness.

Seeking acquittal of Rathi, Tulsi said that his client was near Mother Dairy, far from Connaught Place, at the time of incident, and he had joined the police team, assigned for the shootout, much later.