Ahmedabad: A special CBI court on Tuesday granted bail to a retired Deputy Superintendent of Police (Dy SP) of Gujarat in the 2003 Sadiq Jamal encounter killing case.
The Court gave relief to K M Waghela after observing that his involvement in the alleged fake encounter of Jamal, a youth from Bhavnagar, has not been prima facie established.
Judge M M Gandhi asked Waghela to furnish two surety bonds of Rs 50,000 each and submit his passport to the police. The Judge directed the former policeman not to tamper with evidence or influence witnesses in the case probed by CBI.
The Court took into account the defence counsel's argument that the ex-DySP's role in the gunbattle has not been established. Waghela had moved his bail plea through his advocate Virat Popat last month.
Waghela had argued that one of the co-accused (former Police Inspector R L Mavani) had been granted bail earlier this month and he, too, should be provided similar relief.
Opposing the plea, CBI advocate L D Tiwari had submitted the accused (Waghela) had been a senior officer and he may influence the witnesses if released on bail.
Waghela, in jail for about two years, was charge- sheeted by CBI in December 2012. He faces charges of criminal conspiracy, murder and wrongful confinement.
Besides him, CBI had named suspended DySP Tarun Barot, Inspectors Jaysinh Parmar, I A Saiyad, then Sub-Inspectors R L Mavani, Ghanshyamsinh Gohil and Constables Ajaypalsingh Yadav and Chhatrasinh Chudasama in the charge-sheet.
Jamal, said to be a small-time criminal, was killed in an encounter by Gujarat Police near Galaxy Cinema at Naroda here on January 13, 2003. Police had then claimed he was a terrorist on a mission to kill top leaders in the state.
The Gujarat High Court had in June 2011 transfered the case to CBI following a petition by Shabbir Jamal, brother of Sadiq, who had claimed his killing was stage-managed.
The central agency had concluded that Jamal's encounter killing was stage-managed and he was kept in illegal confinement by Ahmedabad Crime Branch before being killed.