Mumbai: Observing that the accused in the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case and the subsequent killing of his wife Kausarbi are facing a serious charge, the Bombay High Court on Monday reserved its order on the bail applications of two arrested police officials.
"I will first have to see if prima facie case is there against the accused. If yes, then the offence is of a serious nature," Justice AM Thipsay said.
The observation was made during the bail hearing of two deputy superintendents of police Narendra Amin and ML Parmar.
The bench reserved its order on the application of Amin and Parmar. The bail pleas of two more police officials arrested in the case have been posted for hearing on January 4.
Justice Thipsay also said that while deciding the bail pleas, he will take into consideration the delay in the case and that the trial which is yet to begin will take over a year to complete.
Appearing for Amin, senior counsel Ram Jethmalani had earlier argued that the only role attributed to him was that he was present at the cremation of Kausarbi along with other accused police officials in the encounter case.
Advocate Amit Nair, appearing for Parmar, had argued that he has been in jail for more than five years. Nair had submitted that Parmar was not even part of the encounter team or while cremating the body.
Sohrabbudin and his wife were allegedly abducted by the Gujarat Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) from Hyderabad and killed in a fake encounter near Gandhinagar in November 2005.
A total of 16 accused are facing trial in the case out of whom eight are out on bail. Former Gujarat minister Amit Shah is also an accused in the case and is on bail.
Shah had to quit Modi government soon after abduction and a murder case was slapped against him. He was arrested by the CBI on July 25, 2010 and had spent over three months in Sabarmati Jail.