Pay compensation to Sohrabuddin’s brother: court

J. Venkatesan

NEW DELHI: With the Gujarat government admitting that Sohrabuddin was killed in a fake encounter, the Supreme Court on Monday asked the State to pay an interim compensation to Rubabuddin Sheikh, brother of Sohrabuddin, and indicated that the case would be referred to the Special Investigation Team (SIT), investigating the riot cases.

A Bench of Justices Tarun Chatterjee and Aftab Alam, hearing a petition filed by Rubabuddin for a CBI probe into the death in a fake encounter of Sohrabuddin on November 26, 2005, and the subsequent killing of his wife Kausar Bi, asked the State government to inform the court on August 11 the quantum of interim compensation it was willing to pay.

The Bench also wanted the State to spell out its stand on referring the case to the SIT for further probe, though senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the State, pointed out that the charge sheet had already been filed.

The Bench also wanted to know the stand of amicus curiae Gopal Subramaniam.

Senior counsel Dushyant Dave, appearing for the petitioner, said that since the petitioner was suffering from cancer, the question of compensation should be decided at the earliest.

Mr. Rohatgi said: “We admit that it is a false encounter.” Then Justice Chatterjee said: “You will have to pay compensation. You can’t escape from your liability.”

Justice Alam said: “Payment of interim compensation can’t wait. You are liable to compensate and you quantify the compensation.”

The Bench posted the matter for further hearing on August 11.

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