CBI stays 'neutral' on the issue of media ban in Sohrabuddin case

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CBI stays 'neutral' on the issue of media ban in Sohrabuddin case

Justice Revati Mohite-Dhere of Bombay High Court is hearing two petitions filed against the November 29  order of the special CBI court which had banned the media from reporting the on going trial.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) om Friday told the Bombay High Court that they were 'neutral' on the issue of media ban in the Sohrabuddin encounter case.

Justice Revati Mohite-Dhere of Bombay High Court is hearing two petitions filed against the November 29 order of the special CBI court which had banned the media from reporting the on going trial.

Justice Mohite-Dhere asked the CBI lawyer Sandesh Patil what the status of the trial was. She was told that 31 witnesses have deposed.

"We have not taken any stand in this case. We are neutral. It is the accused in the case who had filed the application," said Patil when Justice Mohite-Dhere inquired about the CBI's stand.

On the other hand, the advocate appearing for the accused police inspector Abdul Rehman from Udaipur who had filed the application in a lower court sought time for two weeks to file a reply.

However, Justice Mohite-Dhere said that there was nothing to reply in the case and that the case would be taken up for the final disposal on January 23.

An application had been filed by Rehman's lawyer in the special CBI court asking for the media ban to be imposed as there was a threat to witnesses and everyone involved in case.

The application was signed by lawyers of twelve other accused as well.

Judge SJ Sharma said, "It may happen that the publication may create security problems for the accused persons, prosecution witnesses, the defence team and the prosecutor as well. I, therefore, find justification in the request of the defence team of lawyers. The application is allowed."

Against that order, nine journalists from various organisations had came together to file an appeal in the Bombay High Court asking for the ban order to be set aside.

A petition has also been filed by Brihanmumbai Union of Journalists.