New Delhi: Solicitor General Gopal
Subramaniam on Thursday alleged in the Supreme Court that a senior
IPS officer in Gujarat was allotted a plot of land by the state
government after she took over supervision of the probe into
Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter killing.
Subramaniam, who is an amicus curaie (friend of the
court) in the matter, told a bench of Justices Tarun
Chatterjee and Aftab Alam that Inspector General of Police
Geeta Johri was alloted the land in Gandhinagar a few days
after she took over supervision of investigations into the
He presented an order purportedly issued by Gujarat
government on July 1, 2006, allotting a piece of plot to Johri.
According to Subramaniam, Johri had taken over
investigations into the case from June 27, 2006, and the plot
was alloted to her on July 1, 2006.
Subramaniam`s remarks drew protests from senior
counsel Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for Gujarat government, who
described the charge as "most unfortunate."
Sohrabuddin, his wife Kauser Bi and another person were
killed in a fake encounter by the Anti-Terrorists Squad of
Gujarat police comprising some top police officials of the
Outside the court, Geeta Johri termed the allegations
"ridiculous" and intended to "defame" her.
"It was not just me. Every police personnel in the
state right from a constable has been alloted land by the
government. I and my husband, who is an IFS officer, have
been allotted a 330 sq yard of land. In fact, both of us were
entitled to 330 sq yard each but since we are a couple, we had
been given only a joint plot of 330 sq yards," she said.
Earlier, during the two arguments on behalf of the
state government, Rohtagi strongly opposed any move to
transfer the investigations to CBI or any other investigating
agency as demanded by Rubabuddin Sheikh, brother of
Sohrabuddin, and Subramaniam.
Interpreting Section 173(8) of the CrPC, Rohtagi said
the power to order further investigation vested with the
magistrate concerned and the since the chargesheet and
supplementary chargesheet had already been filed, there
was no need for any change of the probe agency.
He argued the investigations under Geeta Johri had
shown "commendable progress" resulting in the arrest of
several top police officers involved in the killings.
The counsel submitted narco analysis on the accused
police officers had not been conducted so far as the state
government believed that it should be always done with the
consent of the accused.
Moreover, he pointed out the validity and evidentiary
value of narco analysis is under the scrutiny of a
constitution bench of the Supreme Court which had reserved its
Rohtagi, however, admitted the investigation was yet
to unearth the manner in which Kauser Bi was killed, though
the sleuths were able to establish the culpability of the
accused police officers in cremating her body after killing
However, at one stage, the bench remarked that the
Gujarat government`s stand with regard to the identity of the
third person presumed to be one Tulsiram Prajapati was
The bench pointed out that the state government had
been claiming that the third person killed in the encounter
was Kaleemuddin and not Tulsiram Prajapati as alleged by the
"But when we ask you what happened to Kaleemuddin, you
say he is non-existent," the bench said.
Rohtagi denied there was any contradiction and said
Tulsiram, who is presumed to be killed along with the couple,
and Kaleemuddin are two different persons.
Sohrabuddin, along with his wife Kauser Bi and
Prajapati, was picked in a joint operation by the police of
Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh from a bus on their way from
Hyderabad to Sangli in Maharashtra on Novemeber 22, 2005.
Besides the AP police the role of Rajasthan police has
also figured during the investigations.
Three senior police officers D G Banjara (DIG), Raj
Kumar Pandiyan (SP), both of Gujarat cadre, and Dinesh M N of
Rajasthan cadre are among the accused. All of them are in