New Delhi: In a huge relief to BJP president Amit Shah, the Supreme Court today upheld the clean chit given by the subordinate courts to him in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case and rejected the plea for its revival.
“Rejected,” said a bench comprising Justices S A Bobde and Ashok Bhushan while questioning the locus standi of former bureaucrat and social activist Harsh Mander for pursuing the case in which the victim’s brother Rubabuddin Sheikh had preferred to withdraw the petition.
“When the person is genuinely aggrieved then the issue takes a different colour but when the person is not remotely connected and wants to revive the case then it’s a different dimension,” the bench said when senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Mander, submitted that he intervened as there was an attempt to “scuttle” the case in which the CBI had filed the charge sheet.
The senior advocate tried to justify Mander’s locus standi by citing corruption cases but the bench rejected his contention, saying “there cannot be a comparison”.
Sibal said the victim’s brother had withdrawn his petition without citing any reason and thus, in this high-profile case, “public must get the feeling that nobody is above the law”.
The court shot back, noting it “does not consider anyone above the law”.
Sibal said, “CBI has filed the charge sheet in such a serious case. There must be some reason that the trial was transferred from Gujarat to Maharashtra. The statement under section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure was recorded but I am unable to understand why did they (CBI) turn turtle. Even his (Sohrabuddin’s) brother who filed the case against Shah withdrew his case later.”
Mander had challenged the Bombay High Court order which had upheld the discharge of the BJP president by the trial court.