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  Metros   Mumbai  02 Jan 2019  Prior sanction to prosecute wasn’t taken, rules Judge

Prior sanction to prosecute wasn’t taken, rules Judge

THE ASIAN AGE. | SHAHAB ANSARI
Published : Jan 2, 2019, 2:09 am IST
Updated : Jan 2, 2019, 2:09 am IST

Accused filed discharge application on the same grounds.

Sohrabuddin Sheikh
 Sohrabuddin Sheikh

Mumbai: While the IPS officers were discharged in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati encounter case on grounds that prior sanction to prosecute them had not been obtained, after conducting trial, the benefit of the same has been given to the 21 accused policemen and the Judge has held that prior sanction to prosecute them had not been taken. Interestingly, many of the accused who faced trial had also filed a discharge application on the same grounds but their pleas were rejected.

On the issue of prior sanction to prosecute public servants, the CBI contended that as per the Supreme Court order in the case of Om Prakash and others, the facts of the instant case did not warrant obtaining sanction for prosecuting the accused.

However, the special CBI court Judge Sunil Kumar J. Sharma observed that the law prohibited a court from taking cognisance of an offence against a public servant without previous sanction from the appropriate authority. “In other words, only the competent authority who is entitled to appoint and remove a public servant can evaluate as to whether the public servant has committed the alleged offence while discharging his official duties or not,” observed the Judge while acquitting the accused.

One of the other important reasons for the prosecution’s failure to prove charges against the accused was that a huge number of witnesses turned hostile during the trial. The Judge noted that the two most important witnesses Nathuba Jadeja and Bhailalbhai Rathod, who were witness to the incident (of Sohrabuddin’s encounter), did not support the case of the prosecution.

As a result, the prosecution lost eyewitnesses and the case became totally based on circumstantial evidence. Following this, the prosecution was required to prove every link and circumstance, leaving no doubt about involvement of any of the accused.

Tags: sohrabuddin sheikh encounter