‘Sohrabuddin case claims another judge,’ says Rahul Gandhi, days after new judge assigned to case


New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi today alleged nefarious design behind the reassignment of a judge hearing appeals in the the Sohrabuddin Shaikh fake encounter case.
On Saturday, judge Revati Dere, who was hearing appeals in the case, was assigned to hear bail and anticipatory bail applications. The Bombay high court said the change in assignments was routine.
The Congress president believes it was done on purpose.
“The Sohrabuddin case claims yet another Judge. Justice Revati Dere, who challenged the CBI has been removed. Judge J T Utpat, asked Amit Shah to appear and was removed. Judge Loya asked tough questions. He died,” tweeted Rahul today.
“I am still unclear on the prosecution’s overall case,” judge Dere had remarked a week before being reassigned. In January, she “quashed and set aside” a special CBI court order restraining the media from publishing news about the trial in the case. She had called the press the “most powerful watchdog of society” and said the CBI did not have powers to ban the media from reporting the proceedings.
Earlier, judge Utpat was removed from the Shaikh case in June 2014, days after he reprimanded Amit Shah, who was BJP general secretary at the time, for not appearing in court upon being summoned.
Judge Utpat was replaced by judge BH Loya, who died in December 2014, some allege unded mysterious circumstances. Subsequently, Amit Shah was given a clean chit in the case. Sheikh died on November 26, 2005, while he was in police custody.
The Supreme Court last month transferred to itself two cases from the Bombay high court about the alleged suspicious death of CBI judge Loya.
The SC then also asked other HCs not to entertain any PILs on the issue relating to Loya’s death and posted the matter for hearing on February 2.
As the Maharashtra government presented documents related to the Judge Loya death case, the SC said the issues raised in the current petitions are serious and “we must look into all documents with utmost seriousness.” The apex court then asked all parties to file any and all documents relating to judge Loya’s death.
A PIL seeking a probe into the judge’s death was filed before the Bombay High Court on January 8 by the Bombay Lawyers’ Association.