Supreme Court notice to former CBI chief on Nithari killings

January 14th, 2009 - 9:52 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday issued notice to former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Vijay Shankar and seven police officials on a lawsuit seeking contempt of court proceedings against them for allegedly interfering with administration of justice in the Nithari serial killings’ case.Justice Tarun Chatterjee was hearing a lawsuit by the widow of a key witness in the sensational case of rape and serial killing of children and young women in Nithari village in Noida on the outskirts of Delhi that was brought to light in December 2007.

Witness Jatin Sarkar’s widow Vandana Sarkar has alleged in her petition that police officials from the CBI, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal had conspired together to prevent her and her advocate B.P. Singh Dhakray from pursuing a lawsuit at the apex court seeking a proper probe into the mysterious circumstances of her husband’s death in West Bengal.

The Sarkars’ daughter Pinki was one of the victims of the serial killings.

Jatin Sarkar’s body was fished out from a river in his native place in Murshidabad district of West Bengal Sep 1, 2007 - weeks after he alleged in a Ghaziabad court that he was being intimidated by CBI officials and Noida policemen to retract his statement against Noida businessman Maninder Singh Pandher, accusing him of killing children.

Sarkar’s statement went against the CBI’s stand in the court that Pandher was innocent and his domestic aide Surendra Kohli was the culprit.

But on the basis of the confessional statements Pandher and Kohli made to the Noida police, Sarkar and his counsel Khalid Khan had been able to convince the Ghaziabad court that Pandher too was an equal partner in the crime.

On Vandana Sarkar’s plea for a proper probe into the death of her husband, the apex court had issued notices to the CBI Nov 1, 2007. The West Bengal police had then lodged a formal criminal case to probe Srakar’s death.

Vandana Sarkar in her complaint had said then CBI director Vijay Shankar, CBI Superintendent of Police S.J.M. Gilani and Noida Police inspector Dinesh Yadav had been threatening Jatin Sarkar to withdraw the statement against Pandher.

In her petition filed in the apex court, Vandana Sarkar alleged that, following the complaint, CBI officials and the Uttar Pradesh police began targeting her advocate Dhakray.

She said the Agra police implicated Dhakray’s son Shakti Singh in a criminal case in November 2007, following which the lawyer moved the Supreme Court for launch of contempt of court proceedings against eight police officials of CBI and two states.

The court issued the notice to the former CBI director and other police officials after Dhakray Wednesday argued in the court that he wanted to withdraw his petition and the court had not been able to act on it though it was pending with it for nearly one year.

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