CBI supports Amin's approver plea in court

Counsel for the CBI, K.T.S. Tulsi Tuesday argued before a division bench of the high court that the prosecuting agency has conditionally accepted Amin's plea to turn approver and it wouldn't be "easy" to strengthen the case against other accused without Amin's cooperation.

Answering the court's query on whether the special court has discretionary power to accept the plea or not, Tulsi cited a number of Supreme Court judgments and submitted that "the plea of tendering pardon is ordinarily preferred by the prosecuting agency".

The High Court is hearing various bunched aspects of the case after the special CBI court, Ahmedabad, made a reference to it. Designated Judge A.Y. Dave had referred the matter to the high court under section 395 of CrPC stating that the designated court did not have powers to decide the constitutional validity of Amin's plea. The CBI has also challenged the reference by the designated judge in the high court.

Opposing the plea of Amin seeking pardon of the court, other co-accused in the case through their advocate challenged the plea on the grounds of the constitutional validity with a number of apex court judgment citations. Their counsel S.B. Vakil argued that the designated court did not have jurisdiction to record Amin's statement under section 164 of the Code to decide whether or not to turn him approver. Judge Dave said that further hearing would take place after the high court's decision in this matter.

Amin had filed an application to become approver and asked the court for pardon in the case under section 306 of the CrPC. Eight co-accused including suspended IPS officers D.G. Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandian and Dinesh M.N. raised objections to such application.
Amin was assistant commissioner of police of the city crime branch before being arrested in 2007 in connection with Sohrabuddin Sheikh's killing in an alleged staged shootout.

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