Supreme Court slams CBI for remarks against Gujarat judiciary
New Delhi, 29 November, 2011
The Supreme Court today slammed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for making allegations that the judiciary in Gujarat was “toeing the political line” in connection with the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.
The allegations by the CBI were made against the backdrop of it demanding the transfer of the case outside Gujarat citing a “surcharged communal atmosphere prevailing in the state”.
In a stinging indictment of the CBI, a bench comprising Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjana Desai said, “To say judiciary, even at the lower rung, toeing the political line trying to favour politicians is complete non- sense. To systematise the judiciary and say it is toeing the political line, we disapprove it. We will protect the judiciary. One or two individual may commit mistake.”
The court’s observations came after the Gujarat government objected to the CBI’s affidavit which said that the accused had the presence of their kith and kin as prosecutors as well as judges in subordinate courts who could influence the trial.
The state government wanted the Supreme Court to initiate contempt proceedings against the CBI.
While hearing the Gujarat government’s plea, the court observed, “this statement by CBI is highly irresponsible” and asked the probe agency whether it still wanted to keep this point in its affidavit.
CBI counsel Vivek Tanka told the court that he will move an application to delete these allegations.
The Supreme Court is hearing the CBI’s plea seeking cancellation of bail to former Home Minister of Gujarat Amit Shan and wants the trial to be shifted outside the state.
CBI is communalising an issue
“It is unfortunate that CBI has sought to give an undesirable and unwarranted communal touch to the incident in question,” Additional Advocate General Tushar Mehta submitted before a bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam.
He further said a majority of the persons involved in the case does not belong to the minority community, as alleged by CBI.
“It is unfortunate that the state government is required to respond to such an irresponsible contention by pointing out the number of persons involved as perpetrators of crime and witness/victims based upon their respective religion,” he said adding “I beg to point out that a majority of the witnesses do not belong to the minority community as falsely averred by CBI.”
Mehta said there is no need to transfer the trial of the case, in which its former Home Minister Amit Shah has been made an accused, and pointed out that noting untoward incident happened when Shah was arrested and put behind the bars.
“This court should deprecate the attempt on the part of CBI to communalise an issue which is nothing more than a criminal offence to be tried in accordance with law,” he said.
“Such vague assertions, apart from being not satisfactory for the purpose of justifying the prayer of transfer of a case outside the state, necessarily reflects upon an absolute lack >of professionalism in the functioning of CBI,” he said.
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