Expressing Discontentment, Gujarat HC Transfers Probe in Bhopal Custodial Death Case to CID

Expressing Discontentment, Gujarat HC Transfers Probe in Bhopal Custodial Death Case to CID

Expressing displeasure over the shoddy probe conducted by the Ahmedabad rural Police in the controversial Bhopal custodial death case, wherein the victim was brutally tortured who later succumbed to his injuries during Police interrogation, the Gujarat High Court single Judge Bench of Justice Sonia Gokani on Friday, despairingly transferred the probe in the case to Crime Investigation Department (CID).

Terming the case as a ‘brutal murder' committed in police custody, the bench castigated all the police officials involved in the case for failing to comply with their duties and noted that truth has inconvenient ways of coming out.

Highlighting the shocking and distressing circumstances in which his brother was heinously murdered by police officials in their custody, victim's brother Mahavirsinh Zala knocked the doors of the High Court demanding justice for his brother. He urged the Court to ensure that a free and fair probe is conducted in the matter and the wrongdoers are punished for their gruesomeness.

As per the submissions of Deputy Superintendent of Ahmedabad rural Police, KT Kamariya, who headed the Special Investigation Team (SIT), he informed the court that the victim Surubha Zala, a driver working with a transport company, was suspected of his involvement in an Rs. 2.5 crore Gold theft case. He was held in police custody by the Local Crime Branch (LCB) and later brought to Bhopal at the oral instructions of the Superintendent of Police.

He further apprised the court that the probe was transferred from LCB to Special Operations Group (SOG) and stated that three SOG officers tortured the victim in the midnight and when his condition deteriorated, he was taken to the hospital, where he was declared brought dead on October 14, 2018.

Taking into account the case papers, submissions placed on record and the statements of the investigating officer, the court noted that the investigation was not going in the right direction and suffered from blatant lacunas.

The bench also expressed discontentment over the investigation that has been carried out in the case by the special investigation team (SIT) and castigated senior police officials for not following the established rules and procedures, failing to maintain entries in the station diary and absence of CCTV cameras in police stations.

Bhopal custodial death case
Crime Investigation Department (CID)
Gujarat High Court
Special Investigation Team (SIT)
Special Operations Group (SOG)

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