Failure of justice system in Sohrabuddin encounter case, Bombay High Court should relook: Ex-judge Abhay M Thipsay

The way several high-profile accused in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh alleged fake encounter case were discharged, the “absurd” inconsistencies in the legal process, signs of witnesses under pressure or threat, evidence of “mischief” — all point to the “failure of justice and of the justice delivery system”.

These are among the series of observations made by Justice Abhay M Thipsay, a former judge of the Bombay High Court who ruled on four bail applications in the case, in an interview to The Indian Express. Speaking out for the first time on the case since he retired last year as judge of the Allahabad High Court in March 2017, Justice Thipsay said the Bombay High Court must exercise its powers of revision, even suo-motu if necessary, to relook at the case.

Interview | There are many unnatural things that I saw when I started looking at the orders

Describing as “absurd” the inconsistencies he found in orders passed by the special CBI court currently hearing the case in Mumbai, Thipsay said the court believed there was an abduction and a staged encounter but still discharged senior police officers. Several aspects of the case raise suspicion, he said, and are “contrary to common sense.”

A number of accused were discharged by observing that the evidence against them is weak but on the same evidence, the trial court found there is a case for proceeding against some of the accused. “The version of the same witness, as reflected in police statements, has been believed in the case of some accused and disbelieved in respect of others discharged,” said Justice Thipsay.

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