Sohrabuddin case: CBI faces tough time in SC

Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani who said CBI cannot seek transfer of the case without filing a formal application under section 406(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Updated: Dec 14, 2010, 21:18 PM IST

New Delhi: CBI on Tuesday faced tough time in
the Supreme Court which questioned it for making the plea for
shifting the trial of Soharabuddin Sheikh fake encounter
case involving former Gujarat Minister Amit Shah outside the
state without following the correct legal procedure.

"The homework is not done fully. The application has not
been filed (seeking shifting of the case outside the state),"
a Bench comprising Justices Aftab Alam and R M Lodha said.

CBI was also arguing that the Bench should also consider
handing over the investigation into Tulsiram Prajapati murder
case, which was pending before another bench to it.

"How will you expect us to deal with either of your
two requests?" the Bench said pointing out that the plea for
shifting the case outside the state cannot be considered as
CBI has not filed an application for this and handing over
Prajapati case was being heard by another bench of the apex
court.

"Since this (Prajapati) matter is the subject matter of
separate proceedings before another bench, how can we go into
it? " the Bench said while brushing aside CBI`s argument that
both the killings (Soharabuddin and Prajapati) have some
connections.

Senior advocate K T S Tulsi, appearing for CBI, contended
the status report in which the agency has sought shifting of
the case, itself was sufficient for the court to pass an order
in this regard as the probe was conducted on the orders of the
apex court.

However, the plea was opposed by Shah`s counsel and
senior advocate Ram Jethmalani who said CBI cannot seek
transfer of the case without filing a formal application under
section 406(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The Bench agreed with his submission and said "as of now,
we don`t have application under section 406(2)".

At this point, Additional Solicitor General Indira
Jaising interjected in the proceedings, prompting the Bench to
ask "how she was appearing in the matter".

She said a notice in the matter was also issued to the
Centre and sought a copy of the status report.

However, the Bench continued with the proceedings and
made it clear to CBI that it has to make an application.

Tulsi said government has taken a decision after
consulting everyone and "we are in the process of making the
application as the matter has reached the Attorney General".

"There should be an application. Let us be very sure,"
the Bench said and asked CBI to argue on its plea seeking
cancellation of the bail granted to Shah by the Gujarat High
Court on October 29.

PTI