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Bombay High Court: Inmates’ version, letters to rights body inadmissible as proof


malegaon blast case, 2008 malegaon blast case, Jolt, Sadhvi, Purphit, Hindu, Bombay High Court, Maharashtra

Mumbai: The CBI is drawing criticism for its ‘shoddy’ investigation in the Sohrabuddin staged encounter case.  There is yet another jolt for the central agency after the Bombay High Court pronounced its order on Monday. The HC said the evidence as adduced in the statements of Udaipur prison inmates, cannot be legally admitted. The bench of Justice Anant Badar, in its detailed judgment, has held the evidence of all the inmates of Udaipur prison as inadmissible in law. This is the same jail, where Tulsiram Prajapati was lodged before being shot dead in December 2006.

“The recitals to co-prisoners allegedly made by Prajapati, do not constitute legally admissible evidence in the form of dying declarations, and as such, cannot be considered for framing charge. Whatever has come on record from mouth of inmates, is general expression indicating fear or suspicion of Prajapati. That cannot be construed as statement relating to circumstance of transaction resulting in death,” Justice Badar said.

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“As such, these recitals are not admissible and relevant when the cause of death of Prajapati comes into question. As this material cannot legally be translated into evidence, it needs to be kept out of consideration and cannot form sufficient ground for proceeding against the officers. These recitals are not indicating any evidence of indulging in conspiracy by accused,” Justice Badar held.

The CBI had vehemently relied upon the statements of several jail inmates, who stated that Prajapati often expressed his fear of being killed in a staged encounter by the Gujarat and Rajasthan police. Some of these inmates also stated that Prajapati told them that IPS officer Dinesh MN killed Sohrabuddin and his wife. Some inmates went on to state that Prajapati informed them that his days were numbered and the police can kill him at any point in time.

Justice Badar in his verdict also refused to accept the letters written by Prajapati to the National Human Rights Commission and several courts, expressing his apprehensions and complaining of the ill-treatment by police. “Allegations in this complaint are general in nature and not against Gujarat and Rajasthan Police in particular. In these applications, vague allegations are made by stating that police from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan are conspiring to kill him, he may be given injection for slow poisoning or for contracting AIDS or he may be killed in an encounter. These applications, do not constitute sufficient ground to proceed against the officers,” Justice Badar ruled.