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U’khand fake encounter: HC notice to CBI on cop bail plea

Delhi High Court on Friday sought CBI’s response on the interim bail plea of one of the 17 convicted Uttarakhand cops who were awarded life imprisonment for killing a 22-year-old MBA student in a fake encounter in Dehradun in 2009.

A bench of justices G S Sistani and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) asking it to verify the claim of convict Vikas Chander Baluni who has sought interim bail to attend his sister’s wedding in February.

Baluni has sought bail for a month from February 14 onwards to attend his sister’s wedding. The court directed CBI to verify his claim and file a report by February 9, the next date of hearing. The trial court on June 9 last year had awarded life imprisonment to 17 Uttarakhand policemen for the murder of the student, Ranbir Singh, on July 3, 2009. One cop was acquitted of charges of murder and conspiracy but was convicted for falsifying records.

The trial court had convicted and awarded life term to S K Jaiswal, G D Bhatt, Rajesh Bisht, Neeraj Kumar, Nitin Chauhan, Chander Mohan Singh Rawat -- all sub-inspectors -- as well as constable Ajeet Singh for the murder of the victim firing 29 bullets at him from close range. Eight other constables Satbir Singh, Sunil Saini, Chander Pal, Saurabh Nautiyal, Nagender Rathi, Baluni, Sanjay Rawat and Manoj Kumar and two drivers Mohan Singh Rana and Inderbhan Singh were convicted and awarded life term for offences under section 120B (criminal conspiracy) read with sections 364 (kidnapping to murder) and 302 (murder) of IPC. Jaspal Singh Gosain -- the then head operator at city control room -- was acquitted of these charges.
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