A CBI court here today heard the deposition of a scientific expert from the US via a video link in connection with the 2011 killing of journalist J Dey.
“Edward Burns, an expert, deposed before the court. He had compared the actual image of the bike used in the killing with its CCTV footage, and he told the court that both carried resemblance,” special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat said.
The image-comparison technology was being used for the first time to corroborate evidence, he added.
The prosecution today completed the examination of its witnesses. It examined a total of 154 witnesses.
Dey, a veteran crime journalist, was shot dead in suburban Powai on June 11, 2011, while he was on his way home.
The CBI court framed charges against gangster Chhota Rajan in the case last year.
The agency claimed that Rajan had the veteran crime reporter killed because he was miffed with some articles written by Dey, and also because a planned book of Dey portrayed Rajan as a ‘chindi’ (petty) criminal.
Rajan was arrested at the Bali airport in Indonesia on October 25, 2015, and was later deported to India.
A special CBI court in Ghaziabad has sentenced two contractors to three years in jail for cheating the Food Corporation of India (FCI) of about Rs 6 lakh 33 years ago, CBI counsel Naeem Rasa said.
CBI court magistrate Anil Kumar also slapped fine on the convicts yesterday.
According to the CBI counsel, the two contractors, in connivance with the then FCI manager in Muzaffarnagar, inflated bills of grain purchase, causing a loss of about Rs 6 lakh to the corporation in 1984.
The FCI manager died during the course of the trial.
The two contractors surrendered before police in 1992.
In 1993, the CBI filed the charge sheet in the case, the counsel said.
The trial in the case related to the alleged fake encounters of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati will start from next week, with the special CBI court here issuing summonses to over 20 witnesses.
“The court has issued summons to Sohrabuddin’s brother Nayamuddin and some others, and the recording of evidence will start from November 29,” said special CBI prosecutor B P Raju.
The court had last month framed charges against 22 accused for murder, abduction and destruction of evidence under the Indian Penal Code and for offences under the Arms Act. All the accused pleaded innocence.
BJP president Amit Shah, Rajasthan Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria, Rajasthan-based businessman Vimal Patni, former Gujarat police chief P C Pande, Additional Director General of Police Geeta Johri and Gujarat police officers Abhay Chudasama and N K Amin were discharged in the case.
Besides them, Yashpal Chudasama and Ajay Patel (both senior officials at Ahmedabad District Co-operative Bank), Gujarat IPS officer Rajkumar Pandiyan and Andhra Pradesh-cadre IPS official N Balasubramanyam, Rajasthan IPS officer Dinesh M N and former senior Gujarat police officer D G Vanzara too have been discharged by the court.
Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi were allegedly abducted by the Gujarat police’s Anti-Terrorism Squad from Hyderabad on their way to Sangli in Maharashtra in November 2005. Sheikh was allegedly killed in a fake encounter near Gandhinagar.
His wife disappeared. She too was believed to have been done to death.
Prajapati, an aide of Sheikh’s and eyewitness to the encounter, was allegedly killed by police at Chapri village in Gujarat’s Banaskantha district in December 2006.
The fake encounter case was transferred to Mumbai in September 2012 on the request of the CBI which said it was necessary to ensure a fair trial.
In 2013, the Supreme Court clubbed the Sheikh and Prajapati encounter cases.
The Madras High Court today upheld a CBI court order convicting son-in-law and daughter of jailed AIADMK leader V K Sasikala’s sister in a Rs 1.68 crore disproportionate assets (DA) case registered two decades ago.
Justice G Jayachandran dismissed appeals filed by S R Baskaran, a Reserve Bank of India employee, and his wife B Sreedaladevi challenging the Special CBI court order of August 26, 2008, convicting and sentencing them.
Sreedaladevi is the daughter of B Vanithamani, sister of Sasikala, who is serving a four-year jail term in a wealth case. Deposed AIADMK deputy general secretary T T V Dhinakaran is Sreedaladevi’s brother.
The CBI had registered a case in November, 1997, against Baskaran and Sreedaladevi and conducted searches against them at various places, during which the investigating agency seized movable and immovable assets including 80 gold bars from a bank locker.
The agency had charged Baskaran with amassing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income, to the extent of Rs 1,68,54,305, which stood in the name of his wife.
The trial court held them guilty for offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act and Indian Penal Code sections, and sentenced Baskaran to undergo rigorous imprisonment for five years and his wife to three years, besides imposing a fine of Rs 20 lakh and Rs 10 lakh on them respectively.
Confirming the lower court order, Justice Jayachandran held that the “investment in movable and immovable assets, cash, gold and silver articles, seized during the searches, by no stretch of imagination gave an impression that they were acquired through legal source”.
Through documentary and ocular evidence, the prosecution has proved the guilt of the accused to the core, he said.
Referring to the appellants filing Income Tax returns admitting undisclosed income and coming forward to pay the tax after the searches and seizures, the judge held mere declaring of income to authorities belatedly without accounting for the same would not make the source (of income) a lawful one.
Baskaran had joined the RBI in 1988 as a clerk.
According to prosecution, before joining RBI, Baskaran disclosed his total assets at Rs 2,96,816. At the end of the check period, as on July 31, 1998, his total immovable properties were Rs 87,96,823 and the movable Rs 2,28,91,994.
A special CBI court today extended up to October 23 the judicial remand of Inspector General of Police (IGP) Z H Zaidi, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Manoj Joshi and six other policemen in the case of custodial death of an accused in the rape-and-murder of a teenage girl in Kotkhai in Himachal Pradesh.
The accused were produced in the court through video- conferencing and the CBI judge extended their remand.
Zaidi, the then Theog DSP Joshi, the then Staton House Officer of Kotkhai, one Assistant Sub-Inspector, three head constables and one constable were arrested by the CBI on August 29.
The judicial remand of the accused was extended for the fourth time today as the CBI did not file the charge sheet.
The CBI also conducted narco test on the accused, but the report was awaited.
Suraj Singh, an accused in the rape-and-murder case, was killed allegedly by another accused in the case at Kotkhai police station on the intervening night of July 18 and 19, triggering a massive public outrage.
Suraj Singh, a 29-year-old labourer from Nepal, was among six people arrested by the local police.
Zaidi was heading a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case of rape-and-murder of the minor school girl in Kotkhai area of Shimla in early July.
The case was later transferred to the CBI on the orders of the Himachal Pradesh High Court.
The Class X student had gone missing on July 4 and her naked body was recovered from Haliala forests in Kotkhai on July 6.
Four accused in an alleged scam involving the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) were granted conditional bail by a CBI court here today, while the decision to grant bail to a former chief secretary of the Uttar Pradesh health department was reserved till tomorrow.
Senior public prosecutor of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) B K Singh said bail applications were filed by Pradeep Shukla, former chief secretary of the UP health department, Chandra Bhan Prasad, Ram Narayan Rawat, Rajendra Prasad and Sanket Verma.
After hearing the arguments of the defence counsels, Special CBI Magistrate Pawan Kumar granted conditional bail to four of the accused, except Shukla.
While granting bail to the four, the magistrate also imposed a condition that they would have to deposit an amount of Rs 22 lakh within four weeks, failing which their bail would be cancelled.
Nine bureaucrats and politicians were allegedly involved in the “scam”. They allegedly siphoned off Rs 1,97,75,000 in the 2009-2010 financial year. A non-registered firm was given an order to upgrade hospitals, without floating tender notices, Singh said.
Jailed Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh today moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court, challenging a special CBI court’s verdict sentencing him to 20 years in prison for raping two disciples.
The CBI court in Panchkula on August 28 had sentenced Ram Rahim to 20 years in prison after his conviction.
“We have filed an appeal today in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Through this, we have challenged the order of the CBI court,” defence counsel Vishal Garg Narwana said here.
He said the CBI verdict has been challenged on several grounds.
“One of the grounds was that there was a delay of more than six years in recording the statements of the women (victims) by the CBI after the incident,” the defence counsel said.
The CBI had claimed that the two women followers were sexually exploited in 1999 and the agency recorded their statement in 2005, Garg said.
He alleged that the CBI had also concealed some portion of the victims’ statement.
Ram Rahim was convicted by the special CBI court on August 25, following which violence and arson had erupted in Panchkula and Sirsa districts which left 41 people dead and scores of injured.
The judge pronounced two sentences of 10 years rigorous imprisonment in each of the two rapes that date back to 2002.
The controversial sect head is currently lodged in Sunaria jail in Rohtak district of Panchkula.
In April 2002, an anonymous letter was written to the then chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, complaining about the alleged sexual exploitation of woman followers at the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters in Sirsa.
In May 2002, the high court directed the Sirsa district and session judge to probe the allegations in the letter. In September 2002, the high court handed over the matter to the CBI after the district court indicated the possibility of sexual exploitation
In December 2002, the CBI registered a case of rape, criminal intimidation against Ram Rahim.
The CBI filed a charge sheet against the Dera head in Ambala court in July 2007. The charge sheet mentioned the sexual exploitation of two ‘sadhvis’ between 1999 and 2001.
In September 2008, the special CBI court framed charges of rape and criminal intimidation against Ram Rahim.
A special CBI court here today began hearing the final arguments of the defence counsel in the murder case of former Dera Sacha Sauda manager Ranjit Singh allegedly involving sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
The defence counsel today read out the statement of two of the 23 witnesses as the closing arguments in this case are in the progress.
“The court today started hearing our final arguments in this case,” said defence counsel Vishal Garg Narwana.
The prosecution yesterday completed its final arguments by reading out of the statements of all its 60 witnesses in Ranjit Singh murder case.
The cult leader, who is lodged in Rohtak’s Sunaria jail on charges of rape, appeared via video-conferencing in the court of CBI judge Jagdeep Singh.
Ram Rahim has been named as the main conspirator in the Ranjit Singh murder case.
Five other accused Krishan Lal, Jasbir Singh, Sabdil Singh, Indersen and Avtar Singh were present in the court.
The special CBI court is hearing the final arguments in the murder case on day-to-day basis from September 18.
Former Dera manager Ranjit Singh was shot dead in 2002.
He was murdered for his suspected role in the circulation of the anonymous letter, narrating how women were being sexually exploited by the sect head at the Dera headquarters.
Ram Rahim was sentenced to 20-year imprisonment in rape case.
On August 25, after the CBI court convicted Ram Rahim for raping two of his female disciples, violence erupted in Panchkula and Sirsa in which 41 people died.
The Allahabad High Court will deliver on October 12 its verdict on an appeal filed by Rajesh and Nupur Talwar challenging the CBI court order convicting them for the murder of their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj.
A division bench comprising Justices B K Narayana and A K Mishra today reserved its judgement on the appeal filed by the Noida-based dentist couple, fixing October 12 as the date for delivery of the verdict.
Aarushi, who was in her teens, was found dead inside her room with her throat slit in May 2008. The needle of suspicion had initially moved towards Hemraj, who had gone missing but his body was recovered from the terrace of the house two days later.
As the Uttar Pradesh police drew flak over shoddy investigation into the case which was making national headlines, the then chief minister Mayawati handed over the probe to the CBI.
The couple were awarded life sentence by a special CBI court at Ghaziabad on November 26, 2013, a day after their conviction.
A special CBI court today allowed Sheena Bora murder case accused Indrani Mukerjea to lodge her complaint against Byculla Prison officials here after she was allegedly beaten and threatened of sexual assault for protesting over the death of a woman convict there.
Indrani, who has been booked for rioting in the women’s prison here along with other inmates, was today produced in court after she moved an application yesterday alleging that she was roughed up by jail officials when inmates protested the death of a 45-year-old woman prisoner Manju Govind Shette.
Special CBI judge J C Jagdale today said that Indrani be first taken for a medical examination and later to the police station (Nagpada) to file her complaint.
Yesterday, the CBI court, which is hearing the Sheena murder case, had directed prison authorities to produce Indrani before it today.
Today, narrating the incident, Indrani told the court that she was threatened and assaulted after she said that she will give a statement (in connection with the case) to a magistrate under the provisions of section 164 CRPC, which unlike a police statement is admissible in court.
Indrani also said that she had witnessed the woman prisoner being allegedly assaulted. She said that when she first inquired about Shette’s health (prior to her death), she was told that she was fine but later she learnt that she passed away.
Indrani said that after a case was registered into Shette’s death, she came forward as as a witness in the case, and told the jail officials that she is ready to become one.
Recalling the events on the day of the protest, she alleged that the superintendent had ordered a laticharge after turning the lights off in the jail.
She charged that even male officials in the jail resorted to cane charge on the inmates.
“I was hit on the hand and legs… I can barely walk,” she alleged and added that the superintendent told her ‘tu witness banne ja rahi hai…. tereko bhi dekh lenge’.
She said the superintendent threatened her, saying “We will do the same thing that we did to Shette”.
According to the application filed by Indrani’s lawyer Gunjan Mangla yesterday, when she went to meet Indrani, the latter told her that she was beaten up by jail officials after the death of Shette.
“She showed me her bruise marks and injuries which were very prominent on her hands, legs and head,” the lawyer claimed in the application.
Indrani had also informed Gunjan that she was verbally abused by jail officials and the superintendent and was threatened of sexual assault for protesting against the death in jail.
Yesterday, Gunjan said Indrani requested her to bring the incident before the court and seek her production to lodge a complaint against the jail officials.
“She informed me that several inmates want to give their statements against the jail officials who were involved in the incident,” the lawyer said.
When judge J C Jagdale asked the lawyer if Indrani wants to file an FIR, she said, “Yes”.
According to police, following the death of Shette on Friday, the enraged inmates rose in protest on Saturday, some of them went up to the prison’s roof, while others made a bonfire of newspapers and documents inside the premises to express their anger.
Later, the Nagpada police booked nearly 200 inmates of the Byculla jail, including Indrani, for rioting, unlawful assembly, assault on a public servant and other relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.
An official from the prison department had alleged that Indrani “instigated” the inmates by asking them to shun food and “use their children as shields” when prison staffers tried to stop them from agitating and gathering together.
Police says that Manju, whose death sparked protests in the prison, was allegedly tortured and a stick was inserted in her private parts.
Manju died at the government-run J J Hospital on Friday night after allegedly being beaten up by a woman official of the jail on June 23.
The Nagpada police, investigating the case, have filed an offence of murder against the jail staff.
Six jail staffers have been placed under suspension and police registered a case under IPC section 302 (punishment for murder) against them.
The jail, located in the heart of the city, houses around 251 inmates.