The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought CBI's response on a plea of a suspended Uttarakhand policeman, who along with 16 others was convicted and awarded life imprisonment for killing a 22-year-old MBA student in a fake encounter in Dehradun in 2009.
A bench of justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Meta Gupta issued notice to the CBI on the plea of Vikas Balooni filed against the trial court verdict and fixed it for hearing on September 9. On Monday, 14 suspended Uttarakhand policemen had moved the high court challenging their conviction and life imprisonment in the case.
The appeals of the co-convicts were listed before another bench which had also issued notice to the CBI and sought its response within 12 weeks on the appeals as well as bail pleas of 14 of the 18 convicted policemen.
Earlier, the trial court on June 9 had awarded life imprisonment to 17 Uttarakhand policemen for the murder of Ranbir Singh on July 3, 2009. One policeman was acquitted of charges of murder and conspiracy but was convicted for falsifying records.
The appeals of the remaining convicts, including Jaspal Singh Gosain, who was acquitted of murder and conspiracy charges but convicted for framing incorrect record with an intention to save a person from punishment (section 218 IPC), are pending before another bench of the high court.
The policemen in their appeal have alleged that the deceased Ranbir Singh, a resident of Ghaziabad, had gone to Dehradun with two others to commit dacoity and had also snatched the service revolver of one of the appellants, all of whom were on security duty on July 3, 2009, in view of the visit of then President Pratibha Patil.
CBI submitted before the court that the victim had gone to Dehradun to take up a job on July 3, 2009 and the theory of the appellant-convicts "is a story". The order was passed by the other bench on the appeals of Sunil Saini, Mohan Singh Rana, GD Bhatt, Nagender Rathi, Nitin Chauhan, Rajesh Bisht, Ajeet Singh, Inder Bhan Singh, Chander Mohan Singh Rawat, Neeraj Kumar, SK Jaiswal, Satbir Singh and another.