MUMBAI: Mincing no words as he launched arguments in defence of a Gujarat IPS officer Rajumar Pandian in the 2005 Sohrabuddin Shaikh ‘fake encounter’ case, senior counsel Mahesh Jethmalani on Thursday said a “politically motivated case’’ was foisted by the then CBI officers. He sought to show that Sohrabuddin, who according to the CBI itself was a terrorist and gangster convicted for terror acts, was not killed in a fake encounter as alleged. Hesaid that “if it was a fake encounter, what is to be decided is whether Pandian was involved but there is no evidence to that effect”, while defending the grant of discharge to him by a trail court earlier.
“The question if he was abducted and shot in a ruthless encounter, or shot while absconding?’’ asked Jethmalani. Justice Revati Mohite-Dere who is hearing the challenges to the discharge orders, said, “What are you saying?’’ She asked, “Is that why the CBI is not pointing out many details”. The counsel said that he was not saying anything against the present CBI team. “I am saying that the earlier CBI had filed the case…foisted by political reasons.”
Shaikh’s brother Rubabuddin Shaikh, had challenged the dropping of case of against former deputy inspector general of Gujarat D G Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandian, Dinesh MN. The CBI had challenged discharge granted to two officers.
Jethmalani reading out from the FIR said Sohrabuddin was linked to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and was allegeded to be sponsored by the ISI. He said, “Sohrabuddin a resident of Madhya Pradesh and Hamid Lala were partners in an extortion racket”.