HC raps Guj govt over failure in providing facilities to CBI

HC raps Guj govt over failure in providing facilities to CBI

Gujarat High Court today 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 M R Shah today asked the state government, why it had failed in providing proper infrastructure to the investigating agency in the last six months.

"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 investigation.

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.