1997 Connaught Place killing: HC notice to CBI

The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued notice to the CBI and asked it to file a status report on the parole plea of suspended police officer S.S. Rathi, serving a life term along with nine other policemen for killing two businessmen after mistaking them to be gangsters.

IANS| Last Updated: Jun 11, 2014, 21:15 PM IST

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued notice to the CBI and asked it to file a status report on the parole plea of suspended police officer S.S. Rathi, serving a life term along with nine other policemen for killing two businessmen after mistaking them to be gangsters.

The case is about the broad daylight killing of two businessmen who were mistaken for gangsters and shot dead in Connaught Place in Delhi 17 years ago.

Justice Geeta Mittal asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to verify and file a report by June 13 on Rathi`s plea seeking parole for submitting his thesis and to appear in his LLM examination.

In the plea, Rathi said he has to submit thesis June 13 and his exams will commence from June 26.

The court also expressed displeasure on government`s inaction in not deciding Rathi`s parole application.

"On May 13, 2014, Rathi wrote to Delhi government. It does nothing. If the government had done something, and decided his request, none of us would have been here," the bench remarked.

It also pulled up the CBI after its counsel expressed inability to verify the facts within a day.

The CBI counsel sought a week`s time for verification saying Rathi is doing his course from an institute in Nagaland and more time is need for verification.

"The CBI today can`t say they can`t verify in one day. The CBI is the premier investigating agency in the country. Let the officer at least try. Don`t say this without any attempt," said the court.

The Supreme Court in 2012 upheld the life term given to 10 Delhi policemen.

The apex court had also said that Delhi Police crack team led by then assistant commissioner of police S.S. Rathi was guilty of "unprovoked, indiscriminate firing" on the businessmen - Pradeep Goel and Jagjit Singh - and later attempting to give it the colour of an encounter by planting weapons on the victims.

The CBI had accused Rathi and his team of being trigger happy March 31, 1997 and killing Goel and Singh in the lure of police medals and promotions without even bothering to verify a tip-off about the movement of gangster Mohd Yasin and his henchman in the busy Connaught Place area of the national capital.