A bench of Justices Indrajit Mahanty and A.M. Badar dismissed Zala’s plea, saying the same was not maintainable since he was not a victim in the case.
Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Monday dismissed a plea filed by a witness in the alleged fake encounter case of suspected gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kasuar Bi and their aide Tulsiram Prajapati, challenging the acquittal of 22 people in the case by a sp-ecial court. The witness, Mahendrasinh Zala, had challenged the December 2018 order of the session’s court acquitting 22 accused, 21 of them junior-level policemen from Gujarat and Rajasthan, in the case, which was probed by the CBI. A bench of Justices Indrajit Mahanty and A.M. Badar dismissed Zala’s plea, saying the same was not maintainable since he was not a victim in the case. Therefore, he did not have the legal right to appeal, the judges noted. In his plea, the prosecution witness in the encou-nter case of Sohrabuddin, his wife and their aide Tulsiram Prajapati, had termed the lower courts verdict as a “mockery of justice”.
Zala had alleged that some of the acc-used policemen in the case, including former Gujarat ATS chief DG. Vanzara, had tried to extort `15 lakh from him and threatened to “kill” him in “another fake encounter similar to Sohrabuddin’s” incase he failed to pay the amount. He thus, approached the high court arguing that since the now acquitted police officers had tried to extort money from him, he be considered a victim in the matter and his appeal be entertained.