HC raps Guj govt on failure to provide data to CBI

CBI is probing the 2003 Sadiq Jamal Mehtar encounter case.

Ahmedabad: Gujarat High Court on Monday rapped
the Gujarat government over its failure in providing proper
infrastructure to the CBI, which is probing the 2003 Sadiq
Jamal Mehtar encounter case.

Gujarat high court Justice MR Shah today asked the state
government, why it had failed in providing proper
infrastructure to the investigating agency in the last six

"You have not done anything else, except for exchange of
correspondence in this period," the court observed.

Sadiq was killed in an encounter with city crime branch
officials in Naroda area on January 12, 2003.

The high court had transferred this encounter case from
the Gujarat police on June 16 last year to the CBI. The court
had directed the CBI to complete the investigation preferably
within six months.

However, following the criticism from the high court,
government pleader Prakash Jani told the that all the required
infrastructure facilities including 2,500 square feet office
space in Gandhinagar, with internet and telephone connection,
would be provided within ten days.

Jani also said that six personnel of the State Reserve
Police (SRP) would be provided to the CBI from tomorrow.

Earlier, the CBI, in its application to the Gujarat high
court, had sought six months` extension in the case, citing
non-availability of proper infrastructure for carrying out the

The CBI, in its application, had stated that it was
conducting investigations from the circuit house and Vishram
Gruh (government rest-house), as there was no infrastructure
facility provided by the state government, "which was one of
the causes of the delay in the probe".

The court has fixed the further date of hearing in the
case on February 7, 2012.

As a part of investigation, the CBI had issued summons to
a Mumbai-based journalist Ketan Tirodkar, who had challenged
it in the Bombay high court saying he should not be
interrogated in this case.

Tirodkar had alleged in an affidavit, filed in the
special MOCOCA court of Maharashtra that Mumbai police`s Daya
Nayak had handed over Sadiq to Gujarat police "to oblige a big
politician of Gujarat".

Tirodkar had also claimed in the affidavit that he was
present when Sadiq was handed over to the Gujarat police on
January 11, 2003.

Another reason cited by the CBI for seeking extension was
that reports of a number of scientific tests were awaited from
various agencies and forensic labs.

Also, a number of witnesses remain to be examined. CBI
had stated in its application that it has already examined 107
witnesses in connection with the case.