SC dismisses plea against Amit Shah in Sohrabuddin case as Sibal, Salve appear

Harsh Mandar’s challenge against the discharge of BJP President Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin encounter case seems to have come to an end.

The Supreme Court today dismissed Mandar’s plea challenging the Bombay High Court order refusing to entertain his plea.

A Bench of Justices SA Bobde and Ashok Bhushan heard Senior Advocates Kapil Sibal and Harish Salve, appearing for Mandar and Shah respectively, before dismissing the matter with a curt “rejected”.

Mandar had first moved the Bombay High Court under Section 482 of CrPC against discharge of Shah. The High Court had refused to hear the case on merits, instead dismissing the matter for want of locus.

When the case came up for hearing today, Sibal’s thrust was on the locus of Mandar in pursuing the case, since he was only a third party and not an aggreived person.

Sibal cited various Supreme judgments to buttress his arguments.

“The power under 482 is untrammelled. Yes, the court should be cautious while exercising it but it has very wide powers…

The fact is that CBI took a u-turn. First, the trial was transferred (to Maharashtra). CBI then filed a chargesheet but later took a u-turn. Sohrabudin’s brother then challenged it but later withdrew his petition.

The public must get the feeling that nobody is above the law. The matter should be heard on merits.”

Salve, appearing for Shah, questioned Mandar’s locus submitting that the Supreme Court has turned down such petitions in criminal matters before.

The Bench, which seemed disinclined to hear the case from the very beginning, proceeded to dismiss the case.

The case of Sohrabuddin’s encounter killing was heard by a Special CBI court, which had discharged Amit Shah in 2014. Subsequently, Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubadudin had challenged the same in Bombay High Court, but had later withdrawn his petition citing ill-health. Mandar had then moved the High Court against the discharge of Shah, but his plea had been rejected.

Image courtesy:

Kapil Sibal 

Harish Salve