TNN | Jun 12, 2012,

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday opposed the plea of the five accused in RTI activist Shehla Masood murder case to transfer the case to Bhopal under section 177 of CrPC before the special CBI court. Accused Zaheda Parvez, her accomplice Saba Farooqui, history-sheeter Saquib ‘Danger,’ shooters Irfaan Ali and Tabish Khan were produced before the judge Dr Shubhra Singh.CBI counsel Hemant Shukla said, CBI special court of Indorehas power and jurisdiction to hear the case and that the case should not be transferred to Bhopal. To supplement his argument he gave four instances including one that of 2003 Madhya Pradesh High Courtwhere the cases were heard by the special court away from the place of crime. Shukla argued that section 14 (3) of CrPC 1978 has amended section 177 and empowered the special court to hear cases. In this case, as initial hearing was held in Indore and charge-sheet was also filed here, the trial should also be continued in Indore.However, the defense counsel of all the accused together argued that under section 177 of CrPc, hearing of the case should be held in the place of crime. “Crime was committed in Bhopal, investigation took place in Bhopal, all the witnesses are from Bhopal so the case should also be shifted to that city as per the law,” said defense lawyer Sunil Shirivastav adding that the families of accused are staying in Bhopal and they have to face inconvenience. He stressed that there are certain things beyond law which need to be considered on humanitarian grounds.

Another defense lawyer Y Khan said that several cases are registered against some of the accused in Bhopal and their families too stay in the state capital. Thus, for the convenience of the accused, the court hearing should be shifted to state capital, he reasoned. In his reply, the defense lawyers sought time from the court and will present their argument during the next hearing scheduled for Friday, June 15.

Advocate Memon to appeal for re-investigation

Bagish K Jha

In a new twist to Shehla Masood murder case, the father of slain RTI activist, Sultan Masood, have contested the charge-sheet filed by the CBI. He met famous criminal lawyer advocate Majeed Memon in Mumbai recently with a copy of charge-sheet and alleged that the investigating agency had been protecting BJP MLA Dhruvnarayan Singh and wanted the case to be re-investigated by other officials. The MLA’s name came up several times in the course of investigation and had to undergo lie-detector test following allegations against him in the case.

Talking to TOI over phone from Mumbai, advocate Memon said he would appear before the court on behalf of the Masood family and appeal to re-investigate the case. It is not a matter of a family, but is related to the security of common man and the matter of law and order in Madhya Pradesh, he said.

It seems that the CBI has investigated the case with a view to protecting Dhruvnarayan, who was central character in entire episode, but was not even listed as the witness in the charge-sheet.

More than 145 witnesses have been enlisted in the charge-sheet by the CBI. “Beside this, the call details of Shehla were not submitted to the court which could have thrown light on the case,” Memon said.