The apex court on Monday rejected a plea against the discharge of BJP President Amit Shah in the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, questioning the locus standi of petitioner Harsh Mander, a social activist, in the matter.
The bench comprising Justices SA Bobde and Ashok Bhushan said after nearly a half-an-hour hearing on the plea.
“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 is a different matter,” said the bench, while giving relief to Shah.
Former bureaucrat Mander had challenged the Bombay High Court order which had upheld the discharge of Shah by the trial court in the case.
Arguing for the petitioner, senior advocate Kapil Sibal said, “CBI has filed the charge sheet but I am unable to understand why did they turn turtle. Even his (Sohrabuddin) brother who filed the case against Shah withdrew his case later.”
He said that it is a high profile case which was transferred from Gujarat to Maharashtra and added that justice to the people of India should be done. “CBI has filed a charge sheet and had made Shah accused number 16. It is a case of murder,” Sibal argued.
On the bench questioning petitioner’s locus standi of Mander in the case, Sibal cited some earlier judgments of the apex court and said any member of society can have a locus in the case.
On the other hand, appearing for Shah, senior advocate Harish Salve cited various judgments of the apex court and questioned the locus of Mander in the case.
“This court has already held that if one is not connected with the case, he cannot interfere with anyone’s trial,” Salve said contending that “it cannot be a case that if State is not going to file an appeal, I will file the appeal”.
In his petition, Mander had sought quashing of the December 30, 2014 order of a Mumbai sessions court giving clean chit to Shah in the case. The petitioner had questioned the findings of sessions court which was endorsed by the high court exonerating Shah in the Tulsiram Prajapati killing case, holding that there existed “no case” against him and that he had been implicated for “political reasons”.
The Bombay High Court had dismissed Harsh Mander’s plea in March this year.