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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Gujarat counsel in Sohrab case quits

NEW DELHI: Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's controversial remarks over the death of Sohrabuddin have pushed senior advocate K T S Tulsi, who defended the state government in the Supreme Court in the fake encounter case, into declaring that he would opt out and return the brief.
Speaking to TOI on Wednesday, Tulsi accused Modi of playing "ducks and drakes" with the rule of law and the apex court by making remarks justifying the extralegal killing.
In what could be more worrisome for Modi, chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami said: "If EC receives any complaint, the matter will be investigated by the district election officer. He has to submit a report to EC for appropriate action.
" In fact, Gujarat Congress filed a complaint on Wednesday with the district election officer calling for action against Modi for his Mangrol speech. "The case is in the Supreme Court and one should not attempt to take political advantage of a matter that is sub judice," said Sunil Bhukanwala, Surat Congress president.
Social activist Teesta Setalvad, too, jumped into the ring shooting off a letter to EC complaining that the Gujarat CM was "inciting communal passions before the elections". "His speech was an open exhortation to violence and an illegal act by a person seeking re-election. Does it [his speech] not violate the rule of law and the election code of conduct?" Setalvad asked.

Compounding the problems for Modi, Sohrabuddin's brother Rubabuddin, who had forced the state to take action against top police officers including D G Vanzara by filing a petition before the apex court, is in the process of moving the SC to seek Modi's prosecution for being part of the conspiracy to kill his brother and his sister-in-law, Kauserbi.
Tulsi had emphatically told the Supreme Court that the state would spare no one involved in Sohrabuddin's extralegal killing, and had persuaded the court not to order a CBI probe. Tulsi told TOI that he was "immensely" pained by Modi's remarks during an election rally justifying the killing.

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