Rubabbuddin Sheikh Vs. State of Gujarat & Ors  Insc 508 (3
Tarun Chatterjee & P.K. Balasubramanyan
O R D E R
1. The writ petitioner wrote a letter in the month of December 2005 to the
Chief Justice of India complaining about the killing of his brother,
Sohrabuddin, in a fake encounter and disappearance of his sister-in-law
Kausarbi at the hands of the Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) Police (Gujarat) and
Rajasthan Special Task Force (STF).
Taking notice of this letter of the writ petitioner, this Court forwarded it
to the Director General of Police, Gujarat to take further action. The CID
(Crime) conducted an enquiry and the statements of a number of witnesses,
including the petitioner, were recorded.
2. The writ petitioner came to know that pursuant to preliminary inquiry of
the CID, an interim report about the encounter of the brother of the writ
petitioner and disappearance of his sister-in-law had been sent to the Court.
The said inquiry was conducted by a team headed by Ms. Geetha Johri, IGP, CID, Crime.
Accordingly, it has been submitted that a concerted effort to scuttle the
inquiry and destroy the material evidence had started- resulting in another
fake encounter with one Tulsiram who was a key link in the alleged murder of
Sohrabuddin and was used by the team of ATS and Rajasthan STF to trace his
whereabouts. The writ petitioner is apprehensive of the safety of his brother,
Nayabuddin who is one of the witnesses in the present case and is named in the
FIR in which Tulsiram was arrested.
3. Under the aforesaid circumstances, the writ petitioner, by filing the
petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, has prayed for a
direction to the Gujarat police to produce Kausarbi and for a fair and
impartial investigation in both the episodes by the CBI so that the matter goes
beyond the influence of the local police.
4. On the said application under Article 32, while issuing a notice to the
Union of India, this Court on 22ndJanuary 2007 made the following order:
"Issue notice to the respondent No 11- Union of India returnable in two
Ms. Sushma Suri, learned counsel appearing for the Union of India accepts
notice. We request Mr.
Gopal Subramanium, learned Addl. Saolicitor General, who is present in this
Court, to take instructions in the matter, in the meantime."
5. Subsequently, by another order dated 19thMarch 2007, this Court issued a
notice to the State of Gujarat which was made returnable on 23rd March 2007. It is evident from the said order that the State of Gujarat was asked to produce
the relevant records on 23rd March 2007. The Court passed the following order
when the matter came up before it on 23rdMarch 2007.
"Learned senior counsel for the respondent State submits that as
regards some of the police officers who were involved in the alleged acts, some
of the details have been collected by the State and after the full details are
available further action will be taken in the matter. Learned counsel also
submits that the State will be writing to the Government of Madhya Pradesh for
giving protection to the petitioners herein, who are residing at Village
Jharnia Sheikh, Dist Ujjain, M.P. Three weeks time is granted to the State to
file a report in a sealed cover.
The report submitted by the learned Additional Solicitor General of India in
the sealed cover may be taken on record."
6. In the meantime, the report submitted by the Additional Solicitor General
for India was perused and placed on record. The matter came up again on 20th April 2007 for consideration before this Court. A week's time was granted to enable
the State of Gujarat to make submissions on the report submitted by Additional
Solicitor General of India, a copy of which was ordered to be supplied to the
learned counsel for the State of Gujarat and other parties.
7. However, Mr. K.T.S. Tulsi submitted an interim report from the side of
the State of Gujarat on 27th April 2007 in which the State made an interim
report on the investigation conducted by them in pursuance of the orders of
this Court dated 22nd January, 2007, 19th March 2007, 20th March, 2007 and 23rd
8. Mr. Tulsi has submitted that the State of Gujarat would not spare any
person who is connected with the incident and needs some more time to
investigate the disappearance of Kausarbi. It has been further submitted by Mr.
Tulsi that if some more time is granted, a comprehensive status report or
Action Taken Report could be submitted before this Court. This was seriously
objected to by the learned Attorney General for India and the learned counsel
9. The learned Attorney General for India submitted that in view of the
serious nature of the offence in which some highly placed police officials of
the State of Gujarat are alleged to have been involved, orders may be immediately
passed directing the CBI to take charge of the investigation and report to this
10. Having heard the learned counsel for the parties and after considering
the fact that the investigation is now at the final stage, we feel that some
more time may be granted to the State of Gujarat before any further action is
taken in the matter. However, after going through the Interim Report placed
before us by the Additional Solicitor General and also the Interim Status
Report filed by Mr.Tulsi on behalf of the State of Gujarat, we are of the view
that a prima facie case has been made out for issuance of a Rule Nisi calling
upon the Union of India and the State of Gujarat to show cause why the order
asked for should not be granted and also as to why a writ of Habeas Corpus
should not be issued to produce Kausarbi in Court. While this was being
contemplated, it was, however, submitted by Mr. Tulsi, senior counsel appearing
on behalf of the State of Gujarat that 'body of Kausarbi was disposed off by
burning it in village Illol, Sabarkantha Disttrict', which fact has been
brought on record in the Action Taken Report 3 submitted on 30th April, 2007.
Hence, we desist from issuing a formal writ. Report No.
3 may be kept on record. The State of Gujarat is directed to submit the
final status report within two weeks from this date.
11. It appears from the records submitted before us that Ms.
Geetha Johri has already submitted interim reports. Now, an allegation has
been made that she has been taken off the investigation for some reasons. The
State of Gujarat is directed to submit a report in this regard also.
12. Let this matter be placed in the list for further orders on 15th of May,