‘AP govt is suppressing info in Sohrabuddin case’

New Delhi: After Gujarat, the Andhra Pradesh government on today came under the scrutiny of the Supreme Court for protecting its police officials who were allegedly present at the site where Sohrabiddin Sheikh was killed in a fake encounter.

A bench of justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai said that there is a "deliberate attempt" on the part of Andhra Pradesh not to provide information to the CBI which is investigating the case.

"There is a deliberate attempt to suppress information," the bench observed while pointing out that the register which records the movement of the police officials was not supplied to the probe agency.

Andhra Pradesh police officials had said that the register, recording the duty of its officials who were present at the site, was missing.

The court's remark came after the former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, assisting the court as amicus curiae, submitted that the investigating agency has failed to identify the Andhra Pradesh police officials who were alleged to be involved in the fake encounter.

On the apex court decision to hand over the case to the CBI which was earlier probed by the Gujarat police, he said, "The state had failed to discharge its constitutional duty".

Subramanium contended that the CBI probe in the case is also "faltering".

"It is something very serious. The state has not performed its duty and the CBI is also faltering in the case," he said, while pointing out the failure of the CBI to identify the Andhra Pradesh police official involved in the fake encounter.

The bench after hearing his arguments asked him to point out the deficiencies in the CBI probe on the next date of hearing on Wednesday.

Earlier, the apex court had rapped the CBI for making insinuations that Gujarat's trial courts and its judges were partial towards Shah in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, saying it was "complete nonsense" and "contemptuous".

The CBI's submission in its petition that the accused in the case have "presence of their kith and kin in the subordinate judiciary in various capacities as prosecutors, magistrates as well as judges" was termed as "highly irresponsible statement" by the court.