The Bombay high court on Thursday granted bail to former Gujarat Deputy Inspector General of Police, DG Vanzara in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.
However, the former Indian Police Service officer of Gujarat cadre is not likely to come out of prison immediately, as he is in custody in connection with another criminal case in Gujarat.
Justice Abhay Thipsay granted Vanzara bail on the ground of parity — primarily in view of the fact that the apex Court hds granted bail to two other senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officers booked in the same case.
Justice Thipsay granted Vanzara bail on a bond of Rs. 2 lakh and one or two sureties of the same amount. By way of condition the judge directed Vanzara to stay in Mumbai and attend the trial court in Mumbai on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11 am.
Besides, the court also asked him not to enter the state of Gujarat and surrender his passport, if any.
The judge said he held that a prima facie case is made out against Vanzara, but there was not much difference in the roles played by the two accused bailed out by the Supreme Court and the role purportedly played by the former DIG.
Vanzara quit the IPS last year while in jail, alleging the encounter killings were at the orders of the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat and that they had failed to protect him.
The apex court has granted bail to Rajkumar Pandian, a former police officer, whose bail plea was rejected by the Bombay High Court. According to the Central Bureau of Investigation, Pandian had played a key role in picking up the Sohrabuddin and his wife from Hyderabad before they were killed in the alleged fake encounter.
Sheikh and his wife were allegedly abducted by Gujarat’s Anti-Terrorist Squad from Hyderabad and killed in suspected fake encounters near Gandhinagar in November 2005.