Let CBI chief probe Sohrabuddin killing, apex court told


New Delhi : The Supreme Court was told Wednesday that the CBI chief should be made personally accountable to it for taking the probe into the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh staged shootout killing in Gujarat to its logical conclusion.

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Court-appointed lawyer Gopal Subramanium said this during a hearing on a petition seeking the recall of the Jan 12, 2010, judgment transferring the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

He asked the court to direct that “nobody from any quarter or government will interfere in the investigation”, adding that “nobody should be permitted to get at the investigation”.

The court was told that there were many gaps in the investigation of the case and the investigating agency should be directed to address these.

Subramanium told the apex court bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice R.P. Desai: “Director, CBI, should be made personally responsible for investigation. He will oversee the investigation personally and report to the court.”

Seeking the reiteration of the apex court directions in the Vineet Narain case, Subramanium urged the court to direct that no “government be allowed to intervene in the investigation, including by those who have co-habitation in some other quarter”.

In the Vineet Narain case, the court had sought to insulate the CBI from political pulls and pressure in its investigation into a money laundering case, in which 115 top politicians and bureaucrats allegedly received money from channels that were also funding insurgent organisations in Kashmir.

The on-going hearing in the apex court also involves a CBI plea challenging the Gujarat High Court order granting bail to Sohrabuddin killing accused and former Gujarat minister Amit Shah and seeking transfer of the trial outside the state.

Referring to the N.N. Vohra Committee report on the underworld-politician-bureaucrat nexus, Subramaniumm told the court: “What will happen if there was a subterranean nexus between the people who commit crime, those who investigate and those who occupy the (political) office”.

Pointing to the gaps in the CBI investigation, he said the probe agency did not look into the role of Andhra Pradesh Police personnel in the staged shootout and did not analyse their call records.

The case would be heard next Dec 13.