Plea for fresh probe into Haren Pandya murder to be heard on Feb 11

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New Delhi, Feb 8 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday listed a petition seeking a fresh probe into the murder of former Gujarat Home Minister Haren Pandya for February 11 and directed the petitioner to move another bench which is hearing a criminal appeal in the matter.

The petition has been filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), an NGO, seeking a fresh probe citing the testimony of Azam Khan, a witness in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case in which now BJP President Amit Shah was arrested before being absolved of all the charges.

A bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and S. Abdul Nazeer, while posting the matter for hearing on February 11, asked the petitioner to move the bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra which on January 31 reserved its verdict in the appeal by the CBI against the Gujarat High Court’s acquittal of all the accused in the Pandya murder case.

“It will be appropriate if the same bench hears this petition,” the bench said.

The petition contended that a fresh probe was imperative, citing the Gujarat High Court verdict which while acquitting all the accused called the investigation conducted as “botched” and “misdirected”.

The petition cites the testimony of Khan who claimed that “Sohrabuddin had told him that a contract to kill Haren Pandya had been given to him by a Gujarat cadre IPS officer, D.G. Vanzara, and that Sohrabuddin’s associate Tulsiram Prajapati along with one Naeem and a Shahid Rampuri had murdered Haren Pandya in pursuance of that contract.”



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